Updated: Mar 5
2/25/21 Letter to Congressional Leaders and 3-2-21 Press Release Urge Action
March 2, 2021
The National Association of State 911 Administrators is calling on Congress to pass next-generation 911 (NG-911) legislation that retains "the management of 911 systems at the State, regional, and local levels" while facilitating cooperation among entities nationwide.
In a letter to House and Senate leaders dated February 25, 2021, but not released until March 2, 2021, NASNA said it "was pleased to see the introduction of the Next Generation 911 Act of 2019 (H.R.2760 and S.1479) in the last Congress. We were a contributing member of the large public safety group that developed the base language of that bill, which was included in last year’s infrastructure bill. NASNA supported that bill then, and we urge Congress to pass a comparable bill this year. We are aware that similar legislation may be introduced this year as the Next Generation 911 Act of 2021 and that Congress may be considering inclusion of it as part of the new infrastructure bill.
"The legislative framework of the NG911 Act of 2019 was carefully crafted to retain the management of 911 systems at the State, regional, and local levels, while providing a national framework that facilitates cooperation among Federal, State, and local officials, increases the technical capabilities of 911 systems, and promotes interoperability of 911 services across the nation. Those objectives remain critically important today," the group added.
"There are other interests that are raising new proposals to the framework that was previously agreed upon. While perhaps well-intentioned, those proposals would substantially disrupt the efforts of State authorities to develop, implement, and operate NG911 systems. Those changes include establishing a Federal NG911 security operations center, the creation of a new Federal program to drive development of new NG911 standards and technologies, and adding restrictive requirements for credentialing and access management," NASNA complained.
"We agree that NG911 security, standards, and credentialing are all important issues, which is why they are all currently being addressed by State 911 authorities. We urge you to reject these proposals and to move promptly to introduce legislation consistent with the bill language we have attached," the group said.
NASNA "has asked Congress for $12 billion of Federal funding" for NG-911.
NASNA Executive Director Harriet Rennie-Brown, who signed the letter to congressional leaders, told TR Daily that the "other interests" mentioned in the letter was a reference to the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, which is backed by a number of major public safety groups. That group has pushed draft legislation that would call for a "nationwide strategy" to deploy NG-911.
Ms. Rennie-Brown also declined to share proposed NASNA NG-911 legislative language that was attached to the congressional letter because "it is still in the draft phase right now for staff discussion." —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org