A small, nonprofit police and fire dispatch center in Commerce City says it is the first regional emergency communication provider in the country to launch a wireless data network just for public safety officials.

The Adams County Communication Center, or Adcom911, provides dispatch and data services for most of the police, fire and emergency medical service providers in the county. In June, the center implemented along-term evolutionary technology project(LTE) that backers say will revolutionize how public safety officers gather data and communicate with each other.

It is the first, functioning public safety wireless network in the nation, said Adcom911 director Scott Newman. In the past, weve always had to rely on private carriers like Verizon and AT&T to communicate but there are a lot of limitations to their systems.

Adcom911 serves about 350,000 residents in Adams County and takes upwards of 700,000 service calls every year.

Newman said Adcom911 began the project in 2011, after the Federal Communications Commission selected seven regional dispatch centers to be a part of a pilot program.

The program began because firefighters and police from different districts were unable to talk to each other during emergencies.

AtColumbine, for example, there were a lot of problemsbecause there were so many police departments that came together, but they couldnt talk to each other on the same radio system, Newman said. So, that started a big initiative in Colorado, which spread nationwide, to have interoperable communications for voice and, eventually, data.

The system at the center at 7321 Birch St. uses a wireless spectrum that transmits from a closed network. The network transmitters are physical devices that have been installed on public buildings throughout Adams County.

Adcom is leading the nation right now in its LTE data network, said Brighton Fire Rescue District Chief Mark Bodane. Units in the field can actually see whats going on because its transmitted through this LTE system.

In a major event, there are so many people taking pictures and updating social media that sometimes we have a difficult time in getting part of the bandwidth, Bodane said. Its a public safety network where we have the priority, not the other way around. We can respond faster and more efficiently to the community this way.

Bondane is the board president of Adcom911. The board is made of members from fire districts and police departments that use Adcom911 at their dispatch provider. Partnering agencies pay a proportional, annual rate for dispatch services.

Financially its very beneficial, because were sharing the technology the radio system, the phone system and now the LTE system, said operations director Betty Deshazer. It would be very pricey for agencies to do that individually.

Adcom911 participants

  • Adams County Sheriffs Office
  • Brighton Police Department
  • Commerce City Police Department
  • Northglenn Police Department
  • South Adams County Fire Protection District
  • Adams County Fire Protection District
  • Brighton Fire Rescue District
  • North Metro Fire Rescue
  • Bennett Fire Rescue
  • Strasburg Fire Department
  • Sable Altura Fire Department

Source: Megan Mitchell, Adams County dispatch center 1st with Data Network for public safety, The Denver Post,8/27/2014