Public Safety Hearing - Jan 17, 2024

As a follow up to the joint meeting of House and Senate Judiciary Committees on January 10thJennifer Morrison and Barbara Neal co-chairs for the Public Safety Communications Task Force issued a Status Report on January 12th

The report noted the following:

Act 78 laid out numerous requirements for the initial work of the Task Force. Televate from Virginia was selected as the project manager for the task force and has been charged with assisting to help select the winning bidder for the Systems Planning Expert. Contract negotiations are also currently underway for legislative services support. The Task Force was originally directed to "develop findings and recommendations related to draft elements of a preliminary design for a public safety communications system, including identification of a proposed implementation timeline and any addition”. Morrison and Neal advised that they cannot yet provide these findings.

The Task Force is hopeful, but not certain, about its ability to meet the September 2024 deadline for completion of the data collection and analysis requirements and the December 2024 deadline related to final system planning of the legislation. $1M in funding was approved in Act 78 with another $1M held in reserve. The Joint Fiscal Office was authorized to release the reserved $1M if needed. The Task Force is anticipating needing this additional funding even though their expenses to date have been minimal. They want to be sure to retain access to this additional funding.

Their main asks from the joint committee is language that requires public safety communications centers to comply with the requirements for data collection. This would help to ensure they are able to collect and analyze this data in a timely manner.

Most of the information here was already documented in the presentations made on January 10th.  The only information not included in this report is the Federal funding awarded for the updates of the current system and the restrictions that went along with the funding.


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