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IPSC > About Us > Newsroom > IACP Excellence in Technology Award IACP Excellence in Technology Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 29, 2006
CONTACT: Sally Fay, 317.234.2572 (desk) 317.439.7515 (cell)

Project Hoosier SAFE-T Receives International Award

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has named Indiana’s Project Hoosier SAFE-T as the recipient of its coveted 2006 Excellence in Technology Award.

“I am proud that Project Hoosier SAFE-T is rightfully being recognized as a national model," said Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. "In Indiana, by connecting first responders of all disciplines together with the highest quality communications system, we have improved the public’s safety and are now better prepared to rapidly respond to a homeland security crisis.”

The Excellence in Technology Award is designed to promote superior achievement and innovation in the field of communication and information technology and is open to local, tribal, state, provincial, federal, and multi-jurisdictional law enforcement agencies.   SAFE-T was chosen “after an exhaustive and highly competitive review of applications submitted from around the world,” according to the IACP. The IACP has invited SAFE-T to accept the award at their Law Enforcement Information Management Conference in June and also to present an overview of the program at their Annual Conference in Boston in October.

ABOUT SAFE-T: Project Hoosier SAFE-T is a statewide, interoperable, wireless public safety communications system for Indiana local, state, and federal first responders and public safety officials.  When completed, the SAFE-T network will make it possible for any Indiana public safety professional to communicate with whomever they want, whenever they want across the entire state.  The SAFE-T network supports both analog and digital radios, providing 95% mobile radio coverage statewide using 126 communications sites connected by T1 lines and microwave.  Project Hoosier SAFE-T is building and maintaining the system backbone: towers, antennas, shelters, generators, transmitters, base stations, cabling and frequencies. Participating agencies provide their own user equipment, including dispatch consoles, radios and computers, which they can buy at a 20-25% discount through the state. Participation is voluntary and agencies pay no user fees. The goal is to make interoperable communications affordable for every community.

Many events point to the need for first responder interoperability:  9-11; The Oklahoma City Bombing; Hurricane Katrina; Indiana tornados; Prisoner transport; Police pursuits; Snowstorms. Each of these events pound home a harsh lesson:  whether a monstrous act of nature, an act by monstrous men or day-to-day efforts to keep people safe, the bottom line remains the same. Lives can be saved and suffering can be lessened if first responders involved in protection and recovery missions can talk with each other.

Although most other states are tackling the interoperability issue, SAFE-T is unique in several areas:

  • The system was designed from the bottom up, with local users dictating their needs rather than the other way around.  It is all inclusive:  state and federal agencies that are involved in the protection of Hoosiers can join as well as local first responder agencies such as fire departments, police departments and emergency services provider.
  • The system balances the need for technological advancement with financial reality. Locals pay no user or connection fees to access the system.  Recent financial revisions put the final cost of construction and maintenance of the SAFE-T system at $79 million, a number that is strikingly less than what other states are spending and also notably less than the original $98 million project estimate. 
Currently, 83 of the 126 communications sites are complete and “on the air.”  These sites provide portable coverage for more than 80% of the states land mass.  Nearly 20,000 user radios are already registered in the SAFE-T system database.  This includes first responders in 71 counties, 17 state agencies (including 2300 state Department of Transportation workers, 1600 Corrections Officers, and 2700 State Police); and three federal agencies.  The system is scheduled for completion in 2007.