Funding for Public Safety Communications

(Released 1 July 2021) For public safety personnel to effectively respond to incidents and events, they require reliable, secure, operable and interoperable communications systems. The rapid rate of technology evolution requires public safety agencies to plan for the ongoing integration and alignment of technologies such as Land Mobile Radio (LMR), Next Generation 911 (NG911), FirstNet Authority’s Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, as well as alerts, warnings and notifications systems.

In their efforts to ensure emergency communication systems are secure and interoperable, the public safety community continues to face funding challenges. Public safety agencies must balance integration and alignment of communications technologies with other competing priorities and funding needs.

To address these needs, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in partnership with SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), released the updated Funding Mechanisms Guide for Public Safety Communications PDF to assist public safety agencies in identifying funding sources for emergency communications projects. This update highlights strengths, challenges and opportunities for public safety communications funding, and incorporates examples of real-world successes and challenges from states and localities.

The Funding Mechanisms Guide will help you to determine whether a particular strategy for obtaining funding is suitable for your community by summarizing the Emergency Communications System Lifecycle Planning Guide Compendium's PDF pre-planning steps. The steps encourage agencies look past initial capital investments to consider acquisitions, repairs and upgrades as necessary costs, and plan for the entire system lifecycle. Along with this guidance, the document includes an extensive inventory of different types of funding mechanisms, and a list of resources for additional considerations, guidance and best practices.

The Funding Mechanisms Guide, along with many of the resources referenced within the guide, are available at CISA's Sustaining Public Safety Communications Systems Documents collection. CISA encourages public safety agency leaders to visit SAFECOM's Funding Resources page to find guidance on grant funding for emergency communications projects.

Released by the U.S. Fire Administration. Click here for source.