The following content was provided to Patch via news release from Lisa Kiava, in the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.
On Tuesday, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office received the final approval needed to begin construction on a new Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Facility. The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the schematic design.
“When you call 911, our dispatching system must send emergency services without delay,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, “This is a critical service and we must have the needed infrastructure in order to provide this service in a way that is always reliable and uninterrupted.”
The new Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Facility will be located in Plymouth on county-owned land adjacent to the Hennepin County Adult Correctional Facility. Ground breaking will take place later next year -- with occupancy expected in 2014.
“This is an important project for our own police and fire departments that rely on consistent emergency communications service from the Sheriff’s Office each and every day,” said Plymouth Mayor Kelli Slavik, in reference to a council resolution passed on April 12, 2011.
At its current 911 facility in Golden Valley, the Sheriff’s Office operates one of the largest consolidated public safety answering points in the Upper Midwest. Sheriff’s Office personnel dispatch for 19 fire departments and 23 police agencies in 36 communities.
There is an urgent need to replace the Golden Valley facility because the building cannot support the infrastructure and technology requirements of providing uninterrupted public safety communications in the future. The Sheriff’s Office facility in Golden Valley is 64-years-old.
Consideration and planning for the new facility has been taking place over the past seven years and the project has received widespread support. State legislators have recognized that this is a regional project with statewide significance. As a result, legislators agreed to contribute $4.7 million in state bonding. Resolutions of support were adopted by thirty-four city councils, in cities that receive Sheriff’s Office dispatch services, including Plymouth.
The new Sheriff’s Office 911 Emergency Communications Facility in Plymouth will be 59,200 square feet and it is budgeted at $33.75 million. Besides a 911 dispatch center, the facility will also include space for several emergency communications services that the Sheriff’s Office provides to residents and first responders:
- Sheriff’s Radio Systems Operations and Technical Services: The unit maintains the communications equipment in police, fire, emergency medical, and public works vehicles for agencies throughout the county.
- Critical Infrastructure Radio and Data Network Center: The center is one of six sites in Minnesota which hosts the statewide ARMER radio system and it is an important component in the overall statewide emergency radio network.