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HMCI Acting Director Lee Madison, MHA DCO Kathryn Dinspel-Powell and DPSC Director Julian Lewis

Published 11th April 2018, 3:43pm

GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – As part of the next step to provide the Cayman Islands with a mission-critical communication system, government leaders have tested the cutting-edge equipment provided by Motorola Solutions. The new equipment is due to arrive on island within the week.

Ministry of Home Affairs Deputy Chief Officer, Kathryn Dinspel-Powell; Acting Director for Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), Lee Madison and Director for the Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC), Julian Lewis recently travelled to the Motorola facility in Elgin, Illinois to participate in the testing of the new “P25” system. This requirement was built into the RFP process as well as the contract with Motorola.

Since signing an agreement with Motorola Solutions on 14 December 2017, Ministry leaders continue to work to provide the Cayman Islands with the most modern national public safety radio system in the Caribbean.

“Government remains committed to delivering the highest standard of public safety to the people of the Cayman Islands as evidenced in our investment in this state of the art technology,” Minister for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, said. “The system upgrade will integrate all public safety radio users on a common platform to enable greater interoperability and inter-agency collaboration. It will also maximise mobile radio coverage throughout the islands to provide a baseline means of communications for all first responders.”

In preparation for the installation phase of the project, a team of Motorola Solutions Systems Engineers recently visited the Cayman Islands to inspect all the existing and new radio sites for the system.

The three new sites, West Bay, Frank Sound and Cayman Brac West, were all inspected for clear microwave paths, tower conditions, grounding, equipment location and backup power. Existing sites at Gun Bay, Northward, Radio Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, were also inspected to make sure they were suitable for the new equipment.

“The Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC) was also inspected for networking and space availability for the new radio consoles, as well as 911 and radio logging equipment,” Mr. Madison said. “A visit to the Government Administration Building’s data centre, Hazard Management Cayman Islands’ office and command centre was also conducted to check resources for the new system’s core.”

“The new communications system will have several near-term operational enhancements, which will immediately improve DPSC’s service delivery,” explained the Department’s Director Julian Lewis. “It will also improve portable radio coverage inside buildings, on roadways and in high-incident areas. In addition, it will enhance network capacity to support private group communications paths for different public safety partners and functions, automate various network functions to simplify dispatcher and field user operations and support enhanced features such as end-to-end encryption and GPS location services all of which will result in safer communities.”

“Once the new system is online, various training exercises will be conducted to ensure effective use of the system by all agencies,” Ms. Dinspel-Powell said. “The new technology will pave the way for future means of providing other data and information technology services that are becoming increasingly invaluable tools in the field of public safety.”

Final testing will be conducted on the new system in October of this year.