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.

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