Oglala Sioux Tribe using FirstNet to integrate technology, increase officer safety

by Tawny Zimiga, IT Director – Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety

Prior to going to FirstNet, we had no reliable way to communicate. We looked into different options – a lot were expensive and unattainable for our agency.

So we started looking into wireless options as well as wired. And that’s when I read about FirstNet in its beginning stages. I knew all the states had opted in – including South Dakota. And that prompted me to look into it further to see if we were eligible – which we were. Once I researched it and saw the benefits, I presented it to the chief and he was excited about it.

At that time, we had zero police units with wireless connectivity. Police officers had to go to smaller departments or buildings that we created to use the computers for report writing. It was taking them off the street and out of the communities where they really needed to be. And that didn’t help an already shorthanded situation. READ MORE

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