Virginia's Region 2000 Local Government Council has selected advanced, standards-based digital technology from Harris Corp. to improve and unify mission-critical communications for more than 3,000 first responders and public works users. Region 2000 includes 184,460 residents in Bedford and Amherst Counties, the Cities of Lynchburg and Bedford, and the Town of Amherst.

Region 2000 awarded Harris an $11.8 million contract to design and deploy a 14-site Harris P25 public safety communications system. The system will enable interoperable communications among the region's municipalities, as well as with surrounding cities and counties. Region 2000's new integrated mission-critical communication system replaces its current three separate but connected radio systems. It is based on the Harris VIDA® network, which delivers scalability and features for future growth.

"This communication solution from Harris is the right choice for our needs," said, Gary Roakes, chair, Radio Communications Board and Amherst County Public Safety Director. "It gives us a powerful and integrated radio system that brings all communications capabilities together, but also is an economical choice that allows us to use many of our existing resources."

The new Harris P25 system design is based on comprehensive load and traffic analysis in addition to the geographical layout of the region, which ensures that all of Region 2000 first responders receive the communications capabilities they require.

"To respond together in an emergency situation, Virginia's Region 2000 members know they must communicate as one across their large and diverse area," said Steve Marschilok, president, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications. "The Harris P25 system creates one integrated solution from what had been three different communication systems, giving them a powerful and unified capability."

The Harris VIDA network platform is a unified IP-based voice and data communication system based on P25 industry standards. VIDA delivers full IP management features, including interoperability without intervention of console operators, IP consoles and other benefits inherent in open IP architecture systems.