Breadcrumb TourArchived: Campus Partnership Builds a Better Public Safety Communication System

Last Updated: 12/10/2019

Over the summer, the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department’s (CUPD) communications system was upgraded to a new, world-class interoperable system through a collaborative campus project led by the Office of Information Technology (OIT). 

The CUPD’s communications system, which provides operational and public safety communications for CUPD sworn officers and other campus security personnel and departments, plays a critical role in the safety of the campus community. The new communication system provides enhanced radio communications coverage and capacity for the campus, and is interoperable with local and regional public safety agencies and vendors that support our campus during events and public safety incidents.

A CUPD dispatcher uses the new safety communication system.“The new radio system fills a major gap that we had in communicating with our officers while they are working on our campus,” said CUPD Chief Doreen Jokerst. “In addition to that, the flexibility that the system provides for expansion to our partner agencies for large-scale incidents is invaluable.”

The new system has three main components:

  • A Motorola dispatch system that facilitates communications within the CUPD, as well as with the City of Boulder, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, other regional public safety agencies, and vendors that work on campus during events.

  • Nearly 200 Motorola portable (hand-held) and mobile (vehicle) radios that process digital communications over multiple radio frequency bands.

  • Interoperability with the State of Colorado public safety communications network, including an on-campus radio transmitting site that supports numerous public, safety-specific radio frequencies. 

The new communications system was deployed just nine months after the decision to implement a new dispatch system that would be interoperable with the State of Colorado. The success of the deployment was made possible by a cross-campus partnership between the CUPD, OIT, Facilities Management, Real Estate Services, and the Procurement Services Center.

“This project was a wonderful example of cross-campus entities working together with partner agencies to have difficult and honest conversations, share interpretations, and make commitments to each other all to create a shared common vision,” said OIT Director of IT Infrastructure and Engineering, Orrie Gartner. “This partnership fostered the creation of a service that makes CU Boulder a safer place and positions us well for the future.”