“Huge Victory” – Florida lawmakers bought it proper with the Wi-fi Programs Settlement
The annual Legislative Session in Tallahassee always brings significant changes to the Floridians, and this year was no different.
Many topics were discussed and some were converted into new laws. A major theme was a major victory for first responders and law enforcement, as well as the state’s taxpayers.
The legislature got it right with its new commitment to the EU State Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), which introduces a new 15-year agreement to update the system to the latest technology P25 phase 2 technologyand the provision of new radios to many government officials who urgently need them.
With the current provider agreement expiring in June, it was important that the state take action to keep the users of the system who are law enforcement agencies safe. Our officers were in abeyance with the potential of their main communications system before the start of hurricane season.
Nothing is more important to a front officer than his radio. It provides an important link for support and backup. The communities we serve rely on our officials to keep them safe, and radios are often the link to make sure help arrives as soon as possible.
The steps taken by the heads of state now reassure our officials that they must get their work done on time and safely. Many state officials will also get the new radios they have been waiting for. For too long, many officials have been using outdated radios that should have been replaced years ago.
By upgrading the radio system to the latest technology, officers will see both increased capacity and better coverage with SLERS. In addition, SLERS government law enforcement agencies can add FirstNet capabilities to the SLERS network, a federal program that will go online in the coming years.
Not only is the renewal deal a huge win for first responders and law enforcement, but the new renewal deal will save the state more than $ 200 million compared to a similar possible solution last year. Even the annual operation and maintenance paid to the seller is lower than the previous cost. Of course, Florida taxpayers are big winners too.
The Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA) applauds the legislature and governor’s focus on recognizing the importance of SLERS and its continued uninterrupted service. Florida should strive to be the national leader in providing state-of-the-art communications systems for its first responders. This new commitment to SLERS achieves this goal. The governor and lawmakers have stepped up on this issue, and law enforcement officials across the state are grateful.
Matt Puckett is the executive director of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.