Cooperative Effort Secures $3 Million for Statewide Communications System
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Pete Visclosky has secured $3 million for Project Hoosier SAFE-T, a statewide mobile voice and data communication system that benefits public safety by allowing emergency medical services, fire officials, and police officers to communicate with each other more effectively.
This program will help eliminate obstacles public-safety officers often face in communicating between departments and jurisdictions. Currently, law enforcement agencies in Indiana operate on several different radio frequencies, which creates considerable difficulty in coordinating efforts with other police, fire and emergency departments. In fact, a police officer in hot pursuit of a felon must switch to another radio channel upon entering another jurisdiction, and must switch back to talk to members of his or her own department.
“In matters of public safety, time is of the essence,” Visclosky said. “The funding I secured for Project Hoosier SAFE-T will help law-enforcement officers and emergency personnel throughout Indiana communicate quickly and effectively to stop crime and save lives.”
Visclosky, a member of the powerful House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, secured the funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 Commerce-Justice-State Conference Report. Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh guided the program through the Senate, and the program also has had the strong support of Governor Frank O’Bannon.
“I am grateful to Congressman Visclosky, Senator Bayh, and the rest of the Indiana congressional delegation for their leadership in obtaining additional federal funding to continue building out our statewide public safety communications system, Project Hoosier SAFE-T,” O’Bannon said. “The tragedies of Sept. 11 have called attention to the dire need for a public-safety communications system that enables firefighters, law enforcement officers and other emergency workers to communicate with each other during emergency operations. A single statewide radio system will increase the safety of Indiana’s public safety personnel and the residents of the state whom they serve and protect.”
“These funds to support the Hoosier SAFE-T project are important to state and local law enforcement officials,” Lugar said. “This helps local officials in their work to keep our Indiana communities safe.”
“Now more than ever, it is essential for our law enforcement officials to have the necessary communications tools to handle emergency situations effectively,” Bayh said. “Hoosier SAFE-T will enhance communications and information-sharing for officials throughout the state, and better equip Indiana to address public safety needs.”
“Without the strong support of Senator Lugar, Senator Bayh and Governor O’Bannon, this project would not be possible,” Visclosky said. “I thank all of them for the hard work and leadership they have put into this valuable public-safety program.”
Visclosky secured $3 million for this project in FY 2001, and this funding will enable construction of the infrastructure to continue on this estimated $66-million statewide project.