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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday announced the development of the Maryland State Communications Interoperability Program, and signed an Executive Order that establishes a statewide communications interoperability plan, which will enable emergency first responders, public safety officials and all law enforcement agencies to communicate reliably, rapidly and instantaneously thus enhancing public safety across the state.

At an event outside the State Highway Administration, O'Malley made this announcement joined by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, State Police Superintendent Col. Terrence Sheridan and other state and local first responders from throughout Maryland. The new statewide 700MHz communications system will provide much needed communications not only for state agencies, but also for local jurisdictions. Construction of the new system will take place in phases over the next five to eight years.

"Implementing an advanced statewide interoperable communications system is a top priority in securing our homeland," O'Malley said. "Ensuring the dependability of radio connectivity between all public safety agencies, including first responders is vital for the protection of our citizens and to Maryland's emergency personnel."

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