COMMERCE CITY — Adams County officials and first responders were joined by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, on Friday, June 6, at the Adams County Communications Center to mark the first-in-the-nation launch of a high-speed network dedicated solely to first responders.
The first phase of the new public-safety LTW network was officially taken live last week, a product of FirstNet, which is a branch of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration focused on providing emergency responders with technology to boost collaboration between police, firefighters and other public safety officials such as EMS and the National Guard.
The concept of a single dedicated public-safety network was birthed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The 9/11 Commission recommended the establishment of a nationwide public safety communications network to resolve communications challenges faced by first responders.
One of the major problems identified by the Commission was that police officers were using different radios than firefighters and could not communicate with each other. Over the past decade, public safety advocates worked hand-in-hand with government officials and Members of Congress to build support for a nationwide network.
In February 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which funds and governs the nationwide public safety broadband network, otherwise known as FirstNet.