South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety will receive a federal grant of more than $1.5 million to be used for equipment at the state’s 911 dispatch centers, including the Central South Dakota Dispatch Center based in Pierre that serves many counties and agencies, including the Highway Patrol.
The money, which comes from the federal 911 Grant Program, is part of the ongoing effort to upgrade the system to Next Generation 911 (NG911) at the 28 PSAPs across South Dakota. NG911 allows citizens, first responders and 911 call takers to use digital, internet-based, broadband-enabled technologies to coordinate emergency responses.
“If not for the grant, we would have had to use other funds,” said Tony Mangan, public information officer DPS. “It is for equipment going to be replaced, as to be done as soon as possible. The equipment has been identified as needing to be replaced; needed at the PSAPs. Once we actually get the funds, we can start the process. We have until March 31, 2022, to expend the grant funds.”
“What this comes down to is an opportunity to get the funds from the federal level and send it down to the local PSAPs, with 100 percent of the funds going to them,” said Mangan.
A transition to NG911 has been a major objective of the state’s 11-person 911 Coordination Board, which is part of the Department of Public Safety.
Board Chair Lee McPeek, 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,” McPeek said. “We plan to use 100 percent of the grant funds to directly benefit the PSAPs.”
South Dakota has 28 PSAP. They include:
Central South Dakota Communications (Pierre)
Bon Homme County 911
Brookings Police Department
Brown County Communications
Butte County Dispatch Center
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
Yankton Police Department.
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.