(Excerpt from news release)
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) joined by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore, and Palo Alto Police and Fire Chief Dennis Burns at a press conference on Monday, April 23rd to highlight a new law, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which includes provisions to create America’s first nationwide, interoperable public safety communications network and secures significant funding for Next Generation 9-1-1 technology.
Creating a public safety network was a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Report published in 2004. The Report identified that a lack of interoperable communications between first responders at the World Trade Center hampered emergency response efforts and may have cost many lives. The recently enacted public safety provisions, which Rep. Eshoo championed, address the need for enhanced and more reliable communications capabilities. The nation’s first responders from local to federal levels will soon have the critical interoperable airwaves needed to effectively communicate in the event of an emergency.
The new law, signed by the president in February, also provides $115 million in grants to state and local public safety entities to support implementation and operation of 9-1-1 services, including migration to Next Generation 9-1-1. This improved system will enable the delivery of text messages, pictures, and video to 9-1-1 call centers across the country. Last year, Reps. Eshoo and Shimkus introduced H.R. 2629, the Next Generation 9-1-1 Advancement Act of 2011, which called for this funding and became part of the overarching law.