Kansas Highway Patrol, Texas Sheriff’s Office Subscribe to FirstNet
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | Comments

The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) has become the first public-safety agency in Kansas to subscribe to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), while the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office became the first local agency Texas subscriber.

“We’re proud to be the state’s anchor tenant for this cutting-edge public-safety broadband network,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Col. Mark Bruce. “FirstNet is truly transformational. We’re just beginning to unleash its potential, but we believe it’s a promising solution that will help us do our jobs better and faster — while staying safer.”

KHP’s decision to join FirstNet was based on three factors including priority and pre-emption; the ability to use data in new ways through a public safety-focused applications system; and coverage, capacity and control. KHP said that as local control becomes available on the FirstNet platform, the agency can allocate communications resources in near real time to support its first responders.

“As the first agency in Kansas to adopt this critical new solution, the Kansas Highway Patrol will help lead the way for first responders across the state,” said Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. “And by sharing their lessons learned, they can help fellow first responders modernize and enhance their life-saving capabilities. With FirstNet, Kansas residents can expect a level of service that is second to none.”

When a major event occurs, it’s important to share data with other responders. As more agencies subscribe to FirstNet services, it will drive a greater level of interoperability, Kansas officials said.

Brazos County said the top three benefits of FirstNet for the agency are improved efficiency, expanded data capabilities such as livestream to dispatch, and enhanced situational awareness.

Brazos County had one LTE site as part of the Harris County early builder public-safety network and has been using public-safety LTE services for several years.

“It’s absolutely thrilling to have a dedicated public-safety broadband network,” said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk. “We’re still doing the same job. But with FirstNet, we can do it even better and faster than before. We have all the information we need at our fingertips, backed by the connectivity needed to access it. And most importantly, it keeps our deputies out in the neighborhoods, so we can spend more time serving Brazos County.”

“The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office has embraced this innovative technology, and now, with FirstNet, Brazos County can provide a level of service to its residents that is second to none,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Director of Communications Todd Early. “We are proud of Brazos County for leading the way with this critical new technology, and by sharing lessons learned, they will also help fellow first responder agencies across the state modernize and enhance their life-saving capabilities as well.”

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