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Consolidated Network Improves Communications for Baltimore County Agencies

Consolidated Network Improves Communications for Baltimore County Agencies

Project Name
P25 Public Safety Digital Communications System
Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore County

Through an integrated approach, Black & Veatch worked with Baltimore County, Maryland, to combine their existing public safety and public works communications systems. The 800 MHz systems were consolidated into a single P25 trunked system with a new 700 MHz data system, tower sites, 9-1-1 center and dispatch consoles. The system carries all County, some State of Maryland, and some Central Maryland Area Radio Communications (CMARC) public safety traffic. The new system provides improved communications capabilities for all County departments and interoperability with allied agencies in the CMARC area.

As part of the collaborative effort, Black & Veatch conducted a thorough front-end needs assessment and developed system replacement options for the County and system specifications. Enhancements included adding ten additional towers, backup prime sites; a ring-protected microwave network, P25 radios with 800/700 MHz capabilities, and an independent microwave network with interface points to the State of Maryland’s microwave network.

Improving Communications Interoperability

Black & Veatch also assisted the County in the development of a Request for Quotes (RFQ) resulting in proposals from multiple vendors. Black & Veatch worked with the County’s project team in evaluating all of the system offerings, and supported the contract negotiation process. In October 2009, the County awarded a $45 million contract to the selected radio vendor. Black & Veatch provided assistance with the preliminary design for an early start, resource sharing negotiations with State of Maryland agencies, final system design, FCC licensing, PSIC grand administration and provided ongoing fulltime day to day project management and quality assurance for the County as well as provided subject matter experts for activities as required.

Phased cutover for the microwave, data, and voice systems was also conducted to support the new 9-1-1 center construction providing an integrated emergency services communications delivery system.

In 2016, Black & Veatch completed a Master Plan containing an evaluation of the current P25 and associated systems with recommendations to address new user requirements and technology not previously available to the County, and is currently providing consulting, engineering and project management services to implement an operating system upgrade and other system enhancements.

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