Department of Public Safety receives grant for emergency centers

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety has received a federal grant of more than $1.5 million that will be used for equipment at the statewide 9-1-1 emergency centers, also known as public safety answering points (PSAPs).

The money, which comes from the federal 9-1-1 Grant Program, is part of the ongoing effort to upgrade the system to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) at the 28 PSAPs across South Dakota. NG9-1-1 allows citizens, first responders and 9-1-1 call takers to use digital, internet-based, broadband-enabled technologies to coordinate emergency responses.

“This is another good example of governments working together at all levels to strengthen our communities,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “DPS was able to apply for this funding for use at the local level to help protect and serve the public. These dollars will go a long way in bolstering our systems and keeping South Dakota safe.”

A transition to NG9-1-1 has been a major objective of the state’s 9-1-1 Coordination Board, which is part of Department of Public Safety.  Board Chair Lee McPeek of Watertown said the grant money is part of this effort.

“We want the PSAPs to have the most current equipment and technology available to do their job and keep citizens safe,” he said. “We plan to use 100 percent of the grant funds to directly benefit the PSAPs.”

More than $109 million in grant funds was awarded to 34 states and two tribal nations by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Transportation. To be eligible for the money, an entity had to apply.

South Dakota’s 28 PSAPs are Bon Homme County 911, Brookings Police Department, Brown County Communications, Butte County Dispatch Center, Central South Dakota Communications (Pierre), Charles Mix County 911, Clay County Emergency Services Communications Center, Custer County Communications Center, Fall River County Sheriff’s Office, Huron Police Department, Lake County 911 Communications, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln County Communications, Marshall County 911, Meade County Telecom, Metro Communications Agency (Sioux Falls), Miner County Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell Regional 911, Moody County 911, North Central Regional E911 Center (Mobridge), Pennington County 911, Roberts County Sheriff’s Office, Spearfish Police Department, Spink County Sheriff’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Watertown Police Department, Winner Police Department and Yankton Police Department.