On Jan. 25, the Brazos County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office became the second public-safety agency to subscribe to FirstNet, following a move by the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), which made its announcement on Jan. 24, GCN reported Jan. 25.
The decision was an easy one, said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk, because the office has already seen benefits from FirstNet, a nationwide public-safety broadband network that the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T are working to build. The office has been operational for two years on a network test node in Harris County, which is about 90 miles northwest of Brazos and one of FirstNet’s five Early Builder projects.
“We have 61 patrol units that are equipped in a manner that they do all their work off the FirstNet system,” Kirk said. “All the data for connecting to dispatch, all the tablets, the tough tablets in all the patrol cars, work off that system. Certainly one of the best parts of being on that system is the connectivity.”