East Providence opens new public safety communications center
EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – The East Providence Public Safety Communications Center, a state-of-the-art space, opened at its new location on April 10, 2023 and celebrated its opening during a ribbon cutting on April 26, 2023 with local, state and federal officials.
The opening comes after the site remained vacant for 20 years. The site was built in 2001 and completed in August of 2002 with the purpose of moving the public safety communications from its former location at the East Providence Police Department to this new, current location. After more than 20 years, the site will now be used for its intended purpose and to its full potential.
“This is an exciting day for the city’s public safety departments,” Mayor DaSilva said. “After nearly two decades, the city’s IT, Police and Fire Departments have completed the task of creating a state-of-the-art communications center as originally intended 20 years ago.
“We are thankful to our federal delegation including Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline and former Congressman James Langevin for working to provide American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support this project,” Mayor DaSilva added.
“Public safety communications staff are a critical link in our emergency response network. Giving dispatchers more room, updated equipment, and technology enables timely, efficient communication with our police, firefighters, EMTs, and emergency crews. Ultimately, it helps keep citizens safe and also protects our first responders. A strong, dependable communications network is vital and I am pleased to help make federal funds available to enhance East Providence’s public safety communications and capabilities,” said Senator Reed, who spearheaded efforts in the U.S. Senate to include Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds in the American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2), resulting in nearly $500,000 for this project.
“Our first responders deserve the tools and resources to do their jobs safely and effectively while doing the important work of keeping Rhode Islanders safe,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I was pleased to help secure federal funding to support long-overdue improvements at the East Providence Public Safety Communications Center, and I thank the entire public safety team for their dedicated service to the city’s residents.”
“I’m grateful to Mayor DaSilva and our congressional delegation for ensuring that our first responders have the cutting-edge tools that they need to keep our communities safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos. “As Chair of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Advisory Council, I hope that this state-of-the-art facility can be a model for other communities upgrading their emergency communications infrastructure.”
The communications center’s move from the city’s police station, will now create additional space for our police department staff. The police department will be gaining back critical space, which will be repurposed to alleviate current overcrowding conditions.
“This modern, state-of-the-art public communications center provides our dispatchers with the necessary tools and technology to provide the very best emergency services to our community,” East Providence Police Chief Chris Francesconi said. “It is a very worthy investment in the safety and welfare of our citizens, police officers and firefighters.”
The new center is equipped with the latest technology and communication systems, including advanced computer-aided dispatching and mapping software, a new phone system, cutting-edge radio equipment, and command console furniture.
“The new Public Safety Communications Center is an important addition to our city and will provide us with the resources we need to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently,” East Providence Fire Chief Glenn Quick said. “I am confident that this new center will serve us well for years to come, and I am proud to be a part of a community that values safety and security above all else.”
The latest in technology was at the forefront of the communications center design. All physical servers have been transitioned from physical to virtual, utilizing the Microsoft Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform. This provides direct protection and disaster recovery services, greatly reducing the possibility of disruption, and ensures maintaining continuity of services to the public by both fire and police personnel. It also features protective construction and video surveillance consistent with Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) requirements and is fully protected throughout, by compliant fire alarm and fire sprinkler protection. Combined, these protections offer unprecedented protection and safety to our communications specialists and the continued continuity of providing public safety services. The center is also arranged and equipped to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), for accommodation of future communication specialists in need.
- Below: L to R: Capt. Joseph DaSilva, Capt. John Potvin, Battalion Chief Michael Carey, Chief Glenn Quick, Mayor Bob DaSilva, Rep. Jennifer Boylan, Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos, Rep. Katherine Kazarian, Rep. Matt Dawson, Chief Chris Francesconi, Capt. Mark Cadoret, Capt. James Nelson, Capt. Floyd Garden, Capt. Michael Jones