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First Step to Interoperability: Cooperation

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2008
3 pages
This report describes two law enforcement projects--one in Danville, VA, and one in Newberry County, SC--that allow communication and the sharing of information among multiple agencies.
The Danville project involved the use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in enabling multiple agencies to communicate with one another without having to change the communication system of each agency. VolP refers to various technologies used to allow making telephone calls over IP networks such as the Internet. The voice data flow over a general-purpose packet-switched network instead of traditional dedicated, circuit-switched voice transmission lines. In the first of several phases, this project, funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), focused on establishing overall project governance and creating interoperability (communication across multiple agencies) in Danville. The interoperability phase connected VHF radio systems for police, fire, electric, emergency management, water and gas, and public works, using existing land mobile systems and creating emergency operations center dispatch console connections. Phase 1 also included the design and deployment of the vendor's Internet Protocol Interoperability Collaboration System product. In phase II, governance and the network expanded to include the two surrounding counties. In phase III, the Virginia State Police and the North Carolina Highway Patrol came on board. Final deployment occurred in the first quarter of 2008. The project in rural Newberry County involved a congressional grant to local law enforcement for the development of a multipronged approach that allows for real-time sharing of information among county agencies. The system developed enabled county schools, the sheriff's department, and the city of Newberry Police Department to communicate with one another through a fiber-optic WiFi network developed for less than $100,000. It enables police to connect with the most remote of the county's schools and eventually to various State agencies.

Date Published: April 1, 2008