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IPSC > About Us > Newsroom > NGA Wireless Communications Policy Academy NGA Wireless Communications Policy Academy

The National Governors Association (NGA) has selected Indiana as one of five states to participate a national Public Safety Wireless Communications Policy Academy, a program created to help governors and other state and local policymakers develop statewide interoperability plans to improve emergency response communications.

The grant will reimburse up to $50,000 for expenses incurred during the intensive twelve-month process, which includes an in-state policy workshop, two policy academy meetings and customized technical assistance. In addition to working within their own teams, Indiana will work closely with peers from other states and a "faculty" of government specialists, researchers and other experts. .

Most states chosen to participate in past academies used the opportunity as a beginning step in the process of improving public safety interoperable communications. Indiana, however, approached the application differently. Planning, engineering, and much of the construction for Project Hoosier SAFE-T is nearly complete, and the system has become a national model for statewide interoperability. Success of the system, however, depends upon unified and clear system policies and operating procedures as well as system training and exercises. The NGA Public Safety Wireless Communications Policy Academy will allow Indiana to consult with peers from other states, government specialists, researchers, and other experts as we create this plan.

Specifically, Indiana's goals as a participant in the Public Safety Wireless Communications Policy Academy are to:

  • Perform a detailed assessment of existing communications systems across the state, identify weak points and/or non-existent connections, and establish an extensive database containing information about current county communications capabilities, equipment, and infrastructure.
  • Work with Policy Academy experts to establish short-term and long-term interoperability recommendations and a timelines. Recommendations should include plans to transition disparate systems into the SAFE-T network; practical use of all other available technologies; recommendations on how to help cash-strapped locals transition into a standards-based interoperability architecture; and communications redundancy plans in the event of a catastrophic, total communications failure.
  • Formulate a strategy to effectively distribute the Statewide Interoperability Plan to local first responders in all 92 Indiana counties, educate them about policies, mutual aid channels and system best practices, and conduct exercises to ensure agencies and users are following interoperability protocols.
  • Renew, refresh, and refocus our vision for the Midwest Public Safety Communications Consortium (MPSCC), our regional effort to establish interoperable connections and capabilities with neighboring states (Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky).

The Indiana team will consist of eight individuals drawn from the existing Integrated Public Safety Commission (IPSC) - the governing body that oversees Project Hoosier SAFE-T.

Other states chosen to participate in the 2006 Public Safety Wireless Communications Policy Academy are Alabama, Minnesota, Montana and Washington.