In 2015, the Mono County Information Technology (IT) Department inherited the County’s Public Safety and Administration Land Mobile Radio System (LMRS) from the Mono County Sheriff’s Department. The system is used by the County, Town of Mammoth Lakes, eleven independent fire departments, and school districts for their daily operations. The system is considered critical infrastructure necessary for emergency services and response.
Since 2015, the IT Department has been working diligently to identify, plan for, and resolve a variety of maintenance issues which have developed over the years. As time goes on and more work on the system takes place, the scale and complexity of the challenges and issues are becoming more clear.
Beyond the technical issues which are present, some of the key challenges are the administrative and operational aspects of funding, planning for, and carrying out the maintenance of the current system while simultaneously planning for building a replacement system. This challenge is largely due to a lack of clear organizational structure around the system and its users, followed by funding uncertainties.
In October 2018 Mono County engaged the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) from the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an all-day workshop focused on getting stakeholders in the same room to discuss what a formal governance structure would ideally look like for the long-term operations of this system. The IT Department is currently leading a discussion focused on the formation of a new Joint Powers Authority (JPA) which would formally recognize the interests of each of the stakeholders and provide a framework for prioritization and decision making.
In 2019, Mono County entered into a contract with Federal Engineering to help develop viable technical alternatives focused on overhauling the existing 30 year-old system with new technology which would ultimately deliver 99.9% uptime and 85% coverage across our 3,000+ sq.mi. county.