State of Minnesota Selects Mission Critical Partners to Develop Next Generation 911 Migration and Cybersecurity Plan for Modernizing Public Safety Communications

The one-year project will include a report on 911 cost recovery and a statewide capital improvement plan for 911 center technology and radio communications

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (June 15, 2023) — The Minnesota Department of Information Technology Services and the Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks (ECN) division are revisiting their statewide public-safety communications strategy with the help of consulting and managed services firm Mission Critical Partners (MCP).

The state began transitioning to Next Generation 911 (NG911) service by implementing a statewide emergency services Internet Protocol network (ESInet) in 2011. Under the new contract, MCP will provide guidance over the next year regarding the most effective and efficient path toward implementing a modern, innovative NG911 system from technical, operational, and financial perspectives. MCP subject-matter experts specifically will assess the following:

  • How best to transition from the current 911 system to the NG911 system.
  • Current and future costs for transitioning to a fully functioning NG911 system.
  • How best to recover those costs while ensuring that the cost-recovery model is equitable for all NG911 system users and aligns with revenue generated by the statewide 911 service fee.
  • Governance related to the NG911 transition.

“This project will support the Department of Public Safety – ECN Division as it transitions to the NG911 system. This major transformation impacts our first responders’ communication capabilities across Minnesota, not only from a strategic planning standpoint but also from a budgetary perspective,” said Dana Wahlberg, director of the Department of Public Safety – ECN Division.

Minnesota’s NG911 migration also will have implications for each of the state’s emergency communications centers (ECCs) — also known as public safety answering points (PSAPs) or 911 centers — pertaining to cybersecurity, geographic information systems (GIS), and backup dispatch capabilities. The goal is to ensure that each ECC possesses the infrastructure required for the NG911 migration. MCP subject-matter experts will leverage the firm’s in-house data integration solutions:

  • Store and analyze critical data regarding each emergency communications center (ECC)’s technology and communications infrastructure.
  • Serve as the foundation for a statewide migration plan outlining a timeline and short- and long-term funding requirements.
  • Integrate with Salesforce, a cloud-based customer-relationship-management software platform utilized by state agencies.

A final component of the project will be to assess the feasibility of new, modern communication technologies for the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) system. ARMER is the statewide Project 25 (P25)-compliant, 800 megahertz (MHz), trunked radio system that was implemented in 2004. Working alongside the Department of Transportation, MCP will develop a statewide strategy to achieve Minnesota’s statewide communication interoperability plan goals while also assessing the pros and cons of new technology regarding cost savings, improved capabilities, and security. Finally, MCP will make implementation recommendations based on a cost-benefit analysis.

“MCP has been a long-term partner of Minnesota’s 911 program, and we are honored to have been selected as the firm to guide this transformation,” said Darrin Reilly, MCP president and chief executive officer. “Our firm is uniquely qualified for a comprehensive initiative that leverages our capabilities in NG911 planning and implementation, wireless and broadband, as well as cybersecurity and data integration.”