Michigan Redefines Statewide Public Safety Communications

on Monday, 22 February 2016. Posted in Two Way Radio Industry News Blog

From the Upper Peninsula to Detroit to Grand Traverse County, every corner of Michigan is benefiting from enhanced interoperable communications from Motorola Solutions

  • State of Michigan, Motorola Solutions are expanding the statewide interoperable Public Safety Communications System to additional agencies including Grand Traverse County
  • Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) is one of the world’s largest communications systems of its kind spanning nearly 60,000 square miles
  • Expansion will include equipment upgrades, increased system capacity and enhanced system monitoring and management at no additional cost to users

GRAND TRAVERSE, Mich. – Feb. 22, 2016 – Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MSI) is expanding Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) to include additional users such as Grand Traverse County while also upgrading existing radio towers and equipment at no additional cost to users. Improvements to the Motorola Solutions ASTRO®25 digital interoperable system include upgrading the mechanism for routing communications traffic for additional capacity and reliability while also expanding the capabilities of the alarm system to keep public safety operations up and running statewide.

For more than 20 years the MPSCS and Motorola Solutions have been keeping Michigan’s public safety community connected and safe with one of the world’s largest Project 25 (P25) communications systems of its kind. Grand Traverse County will begin using the system in the spring of 2016, with 750 Motorola Solutions’ APX™ portable and mobile radios serving two law enforcement agencies, six fire departments and five emergency management services departments.

The statewide network currently includes more than 245 radio towers and 74,500 radios serving 1,500 local, state, federal, tribal and private public safety agencies. Users include the Michigan State Police and Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation, with the system also providing border interoperability with Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System was put in place to provide reliable mission-critical communications to our statewide public safety community, as well as our soldiers and health care workers,” said Brad Stoddard, director and statewide interoperability coordinator, MPSCS. “This next phase of expanding the MPSCS will help ensure that first responders across the state will have the sustainable communication tools they need to do their jobs while keeping the residents of Michigan safe.”

MPSCS features a statewide radio infrastructure, which allows members to communicate from the Ohio and Indiana borders to the shores of Lake Superior at the push of a button. Any member of MPSCS can speak with another member with the simple touch of a button, a measure that is already proven as a life-saving, safety-enhancing tool for the citizens and public safety officials of Michigan and is particularly useful for task forces, prisoner transports, warrant pick-ups and homeland security coordination efforts.

“Motorola Solutions has helped the MPSCS serve the residents of Michigan with one of the nation’s leading interoperable statewide radio networks and will continue to install state of the art technology to help keep Michigan residents and visitors safe for years to come,” said John Zidar, vice president, Motorola Solutions Central Region. “The system has proven its strength and reliability by providing communications during natural disasters and other incidents, including keeping radio transmissions up and running during the largest blackout in U.S. history in 2003.”

MPSCS is considered one of the largest trunked communication systems in the world. Motorola Solution’s trunking technology temporarily allocates a channel from a pool of available channels, and only when it is needed. After the user is finished, the channel is returned to the pool. Using this method, it is possible to efficiently operate a large system with a small number of channels, saving costs and resources.

Future enhancements for the MPSCS include deploying an automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automatic resource location (ARL) system for state of Michigan agencies. The system will allow users to track both mobile and portable units.