Florida Tunes In to Statewide Radio Communications System
Florida’s Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), a single, unified radio network that meets the radio voice communications needs of state law enforcement officers and agencies throughout the state, is the result of a unique public-private partnership. The State of Florida worked with M/A-COM, Inc., to create a coordinated statewide 800-MHz. communications system that enables local and regional public safety agencies to communicate on a single common network.
“Because of this unique public-private partnership arrangement, the state has saved more than $600 million and due to the great work of M/A-COM and the other SLERS partners, we now have a statewide radio system that is the envy and marvel of the rest of the country,” said Florida Governor Jeb Bush at an event in Miami announcing the completion of the SLERS voice system. “By providing a single system, Florida is able to provide law enforcement officers responding to an emergency with a more efficient means of communications and the ability to talk to one another in real time.”
While other states use multiple methods and systems for public safety communication, Florida’s law enforcement officers can now immediately contact every local and state agency through the SLERS system. This positions Florida at the forefront of emergency and disaster communications, creating a national model for innovative, statewide public safety communications technology and planning.
“Due to the leadership of the Governor and the cooperative effort of the Florida Highway Patrol and all state law enforcement agencies, Florida’s law enforcement officers are able to communicate reliably and focus on the job at hand,” said Fred Dickinson, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. “Throughout the last eight hurricanes, the system has proven to be effective and allowed law enforcement officers to come to the aid of Floridians.”
This standardized communications system was tested successfully during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. State law enforcement officials depended upon the radio system for communication during and after storms and were impressed by the reliability, strength and quality of the SLERS system. Now all of Florida’s public safety personnel will have access to the statewide system, providing quicker response time and increased communication before, during and after emergency situations.
“As a result of this unique partnership between the State of Florida and M/A-COM, we have worked together to provide public safety officials throughout the state with a reliable, fully operational, statewide communications system,” said Bill Tinsley, M/A-COM, director of operations for the State of Florida. “By providing a common statewide communications system, Florida realizes essentially four public safety objectives: effective interagency communications, coordinated communications with all local public safety entities, a final solution to frequency congestion and the replacement of legacy agency-specific systems without duplication of effort. Public safety first responders throughout the state can now declare with full confidence that SLERS leaves them well-prepared for any and all situations that may occur.”
Day-to-day operations will also be enhanced by the SLERS system, particularly for Florida’s law enforcement personnel. Previously, channel compression impeded successful communication by preventing radio contact which caused officers to talk over one another on the same line. The broad spectrum provided by the 800 MHz SLERS system prevents these problems and enables officers to immediately call dispatch for backup or contact another state agency for assistance.
SLERS accommodates more than 6,500 users with 14,000 radios in patrol cars, boats, motorcycles and aircraft wherever they are in the state. SLERS consists of an all-digital radio network covering 60,000 square miles (including 25 miles offshore).
For information on M/A-COM, visit: http://www.macom.com. or http://www.macom-wireless.com