OPP Association supports modernization of Ontario’s Public Safety Radio Network
OPP Association (OPPA) president Rob Jamieson joined Premier Doug Ford, Michael Tibollo, the minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Jim Wilson, the minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade to offer support for the government’s plan to replace Ontario’s aging Public Safety Radio Network (PSRN).
“This is the most significant investment in technology of this kind in decades,” Jamieson said. “This technology will give our officers and dispatchers encrypted radio functions which will increase officer safety, protect public privacy and allow interoperability amongst first responders.”
This network, the largest of its kind in North America covering an area of roughly 750,000 square kilometers, has experienced frequent technical issues in recent years. These service disruptions jeopardize the ability of officers to respond to emergency situations, which compromises public safety in this province.
Modernization of the PRSN will be of particular benefit to officers in northern Ontario, who frequently operate in areas with little or no cellular or radio coverage.
“Our members in northern Ontario police a massive area. Communicating with them in real time in remote areas is critical to the safety of our members,” Jamieson said. “They need information quickly and of equal importance, the ability to call for back up should the need arise.”
The OPPA has long called for an overhaul to the PSRN. At today’s announcement, Jamieson expressed his appreciation to the government for taking decisive steps to address this issue.
“In any emergency situation, communication is key to providing positive public safety outcomes and to keep first responders safe. We are very pleased that the government recognizes this and is taking steps to modernize this critical system.”