Washington, D.C. – Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, announced today that the State of Maine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have entered into an agreement that will upgrade public safety officer radio communications. The agreement, the first in a series of site leases, upgrades the radio tower at Priestley Mountain which will allow CBP officers and agents to have radio coverage in areas where it never previously existed.
“This project is critical for the safety of officers in the field who sometimes have no ability to communicate with a dispatcher or fellow officers. It also is a unique opportunity for the federal government and the State of Maine to partner on the upgrade of a state-owned tower, rather than building a parallel federally-owned tower. I am pleased this agreement was reached and the project is moving forward to establish improved communications capabilities essential on a daily basis and for an effective response to a man-made or natural disaster,” said Senator Collins.
The Priestley Mountain lease allows both CBP and Maine to modernize their tactical radio communications capabilities. Under the agreement, CBP will have access to the Priestley Mountain site to construct a new tower that will provide increased radio coverage for its officers and agents. That new tower also will provide the possibility for improved coverage to Maine State Communications Network (MSCommNet) users, as well as a state-of-the-art wind- and solar-powered shelter to better protect MSCommNet’s communications equipment investment.
Senator Collins worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security to help expedite the project and identify funding so the tower could be upgraded on schedule.