Senator Mensch Holds Community Safety Conference on Statewide Radio System

       Harrisburg – Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) held another Community Safety Conference on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at the Upper Bucks Activity Center located in Milford Township, Bucks County.  The conference was part of a series of Community Safety Conferences (CSC) held by Senator Mensch.

The topic of the August 29th CSC focused on the Statewide Radio System in Pennsylvania.  The event featured Major Diane Stackhouse from the Pennsylvania State Police.

First authorized in 1996, the radio system was to allow state and county emergency responders, as well as local police, fire and EMS, to communicate with each on a shared network. However, the mobile radio component has been plagued with problems and remains unreliable. 

Major Stackhouse provided a presentation that addressed the Statewide Radio Network’s (PA-STARNet) issues and provided details about the Pennsylvania State Police’s Pilot Program on P25 Deployment.  The P25 program provides interoperability and enables first responders to communicate without boundaries and without a proprietary radio system.   A contract was awarded through the P25 program to a vendor and two pilot programs will occur before statewide deployment.  The P25 program will result in cost savings, fewer towers, maintenance savings, increased vendor competition, and more.

Major Stackhouse’s presentation also referenced SR 325 of 2016 which was introduced by Senator Mensch.  SR 325 urged the administration to fix the problematic, taxpayer funded statewide radio system also known as PA -STARNet.  Since introducing his resolution, the Senate Communications & Technology Committee, Senate Law & Justice Committee, and the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee held a joint hearing to discuss the Statewide Radio System and the Pennsylvania State Police’s Pilot Program on P25 Deployment. The full hearing and testimony can be viewed at http://communications.pasenategop.com/060717.

The CSC guest list included: elected officials, municipal managers, county executives, directors of county emergency services, sheriffs and police chiefs, road masters/public works directors, rescue squad chiefs, school district superintendents, school board directors, and hospital executives and administrators, within the newly reapportioned 24th Senatorial District. This event was not open to the public.  Footage of the meeting will be available in the coming weeks on Senator Mensch’s website: http://www.senatormensch.com/audiovideo/.  

 

CONTACT: Sarah Rasmussen srasmussen@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388