2016 Funding and Sustainment Methods for Public Safety Communications Systems (Table)


Chief Tom Roche (Ret.), SAFECOM Funding and Sustainment Committee Chair, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), IACP Communications & Technology Committee Vice-Chair

Throughout 2016, the Joint SAFECOM and National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Funding and Sustainment Committee collected and compiled examples of funding methods used by public safety agencies to build, improve, expand, and support the ongoing costs of public safety communications systems. In total, the Committee compiled over 50 examples of how public safety agencies funded land mobile radio (LMR) system replacements and upgrades; 9-1-1 operations, service delivery, and consolidation; and broadband projects. The Committee’s findings were recently published in the 2016 Funding and Sustainment Methods for Public Safety Communications Systems document, and showcased at the annual SAFECOM/NCSWIC meeting in Norman, Oklahoma. In 2015, the Committee published a document on Funding Mechanisms for Public Safety Communications Systems and the 2015 Funding and Sustainment Methods for Public Safety Communications Systems (Table).

The document lays out various funding mechanisms (e.g., bonds, user fees, special taxes), and provides specific examples of how states and localities are leveraging multiple funding sources to improve their public safety communications systems.

These examples are intended to help public safety leaders and government officials learn how other states and localities are funding public safety communications systems and projects.  This document can be used as a starting point for discussions with elected officials and other decision-makers on how to fund capital improvements. The document can also be used to educate decision-makers on the ongoing operational costs and the importance of discussing system life cycle planning at the start of any project.

SAFECOM and NCSWIC encourage you to browse the 2016 Funding and Sustainment Methods for Public Safety Communications Systems document, and share it with others who are responsible for funding and sustaining public safety communications systems.  We hope by sharing innovative methods of funding and best practices, we can help others secure the funding they need to keep their communications systems operating.  

In 2017, the SAFECOM/NCSWIC Funding and Sustainment Committee will continue to compile examples of various funding methods. If you are aware of a unique funding method in your state or locality and would like to see it featured in the upcoming 2017 Funding and Sustainment Methods for Public Safety Communications Systems document, or have any questions on these products, please email SAFECOMGovernance@hq.dhs.gov or NCSWICGovernance@hq.dhs.gov.   

For more information on the 2016 Funding and Sustainment Methods for Public Safety Communications Systems document, please refer to: https://www.dhs.gov/safecom/funding