Public Safety: East Bay Regional Communications System – Tri-Valley Cities, California

The Tri-Valley Cities, located in the Bay Area, had an urgent need for a public safety communications system to enable first responders within Alameda and Contra Costa counties to efficiently communicate during emergencies. Disparate communications systems had previously impeded coordinated responses by area first responders during both the Oakland Hills Firestorm and the Loma Prieta earthquake. The Tri-Valley Cities needed funding to designed, build, and operate a state-of-the-art P25-compliant communications system –and more importantly to protect the 2.5 million area residents residing in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Jordan & Associates identified funding opportunities for the project and educated the California congressional delegation about the importance of the project.  Jordan & Associates initiated the development of the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) which was critical for allowing the Tri-Valley Cities and other Bay Area cities to jointly pursue Federal funding for the communications system.  On September 11, 2007, with the formation of the JPA, the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority (EBRCSA) was officially created.  The EBRCSA represents 35 member agencies –including both Alameda and Contra Costa counties, 29 cities, and 4 special districts.

Since its inception, the EBRCSA has received over $39  million from various Federal sources, including congressionally-directed spending, Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants, and Department of Homeland Security grants.  

EBRCSA has gained national attention from the DOJ, which has assisted the JPA in seeking other Federal discretionary funds, and continues to assist the EBRCSA in obtaining new sources of Federal discretionary funds through the Executive Branch. In particular, the COPS Office at the DOJ has made EBRCSA a national model for other local governments to follow in emergency preparedness. 

The firm’s advice and knowledge was instrumental in making EBRCSA a top priority of the California congressional delegation which laid the groundwork for EBRCSA to obtain additional Federal funding through discretionary and administrative grants.