Albany County to get $1.3M for emergency communications

 ALBANY COUNTY — Albany County is slated to get $1,255,608 — part of $45 million being distributed to 57 counties and New York City to improve emergency communications across the state.

This funding, according to a release from the governor’s office, will enable local governments to expand emergency response capabilities and enhance overall public safety operations.

The 2019 Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant program supports nine Regional Communications Consortiums, which focus on improving emergency communications across the state, as well as coordination between counties, state, and federal agencies.

The grant program, administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, has awarded more than $500 million to 57 counties and New York City since 2010. The grant, which is formula-based and funded by cellular surcharge revenue, allows counties to improve systems that first responders use to communicate between one another and different regions of the state, such as land mobile radio systems.

Each county and New York City can submit applications to fund projects involving infrastructure, equipment, and technology upgrades.

Eligible counties can use this funding for a variety of functions, including expanding radio coverage by installing new equipment at towers and antenna sites, implementing Next Generation 9-1-1 technologies and standards, setting up communication channels among public-safety radio systems, supporting the operations of public-safety dispatch centers, and deploying new technologies that help counties link their systems together.

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