Grant issued to upgrade radio system

Havre Daily News

by Tim Leeds

Another grant has been issued to help law enforcement improve the radio communication system in the state, funded with the intent of improving security on the nation’s northern border.

Montana’s U. S. Sen. Jon Tester announced Monday that a grant from the U. S. Department of Homeland Security will allow investments in upgraded radio equipment.

“As the Department and many homeland security experts have noted, interoperable communications are a critical element of border security, ” Tester said in the release announcing the grant.

Local officials have been heavily involved in upgrading communications through the Interoperability Montana program, with one of the Northern Tier’s two system management centers located at the Hill County Sheriff’s Office.

The other is in Kalispell.

The system is intended to provide seamless communication, eventually throughout the state, for emergency services personnel.

Ed Tinsley, state administrator of the Disaster and Emergency Services Agency, and Major Tom Butler with the Montana Highway Patrol, in the release announcing the grant, praised Tester’s work in strengthening security along the northern border.

Tester, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, requested the department to fund the grant.

“It is key that everyone working in law enforcement along the northern border is able to communicate and work together with each other, ” Butler said.