News & Updates

November 7, 2016

Cumberland County Board of Commissioners
Approves SSC-Consulting to Conduct Needs Assessment

On November 7, 2016, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with SSC- Consulting Services to conduct a needs assessment on the Department of Public Safety Radio System.  The scope of work included in the contract will include; 

  • Review and assess current radio system infrastructure and capabilities
  • Solicit public safety partner feedback
  • Develop complete and prioritized needs assessment
  • Complete risk and benefit analysis
  • Explore upgrade with current vendor vs. going with a different vendor
  • Develop RFP as needed
  • Scheduling and coordination of vendor proposal presentations
  • Feedback analysis from other clients on each vendor’s system
  • Review and analysis of submitted vendor proposals, presentations and references
  • Vendor recommendation
  • Final contract and price negotiations with selected vendor

Who is SSC? 
Founded in 2007, SSC, LLC is a consulting and project management firm focused on the public safety industry.  The founders of SSC believe that in order to be successful with public safety/military/public utilities projects, companies must build strong relationships with the end-user community.  This requires real life experience and technical understanding of the products that the industry leaders are implementing. SSC subject matter experts have over 150 collective years of experience in multiple public safety/military disciplines as well as technical and project management experience of the most complex public safety communications systems, RFP Development, site acquisition, 911 center construction, Homeland Security Exercise Development and Facilitation (HSEEP), training video development, communications tower and shelter construction, standard operating procedure development, records management system implementation, and interoperability planning.  Specific to P25 system implementation, SSC is the nation’s leading consulting firm, working on more than 50 - P25 systems throughout the United States and internationally. 

Summer 2016

DPS Presents Project Concept and Timeframe to Stakeholders and Partner Agencies

As DPS begins to explore the future of the County's radio system, staff was quick to recognize the importance of engaging partner agencies and stakeholders early on in the project.  In an effort to promote consistent and open lines of communication DPS staff offered and provided several presentations throughout the summer months to partner agencies (Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement) as well as local government stakeholders.  These programs offered an overview of the current system, changes that must occur to ensure the future viability of communications in Cumberland County, and options that DPS hopes to explore.  This program went before the Municipal Advisory Board, EMS Council, Chiefs of Police Association and Fire Chief's Association, as well as any other group that requested it.  Communication is not a one way street, so these programs were not only offered to allow DPS to communicate, but to also give field providers and local government officials an opportunity to weigh in on this project.  

A copy of the presentation can be found here

April 2016

Cumberland County Commissioners Presented with Future Radio System Options 

During their public Finance Meeting, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation from The Department of Public Safety (DPS) on the future of their radio system.  Cumberland County currently operates a Harris OpenSky 800 MHz digitally trunked system, which was purchased in 2000.  This radio system is the primary avenue in which dispatchers and emergency services providers communicate when responding and operating on the scene of incidents.

The presentation focused on the importance of a detailed and fiscally responsible plan to explore replacement or upgrading of the current radio system.   While the current system is functioning as expected, DPS anticipates that as equipment ages it will become more costly and at times impossible to repair when needed.  Just as an outdated computer may no longer be serviced due to advancing technology, the same occurs with modern radio communications systems.  DPS is recommending that over the next 7 years Cumberland County begin a migration to a Project 25 radio system (National standard for digital radio communications for use by federal, state and local public safety agencies.)  All contiguous counties are moving to or have moved to a P25 system.  DPS presented preliminary project costs of at least $16 million.  Funding options will be chosen that provide for the least possible dependence on the General Fund in order to minimize chances of a tax increase.  A project timeline was also presented to the Commissioners, with project kick off occurring in 2016 that would include vendor selection and a procurement plan.