By PoliceOne Staff

RESTON, Va. — Three more agencies have announced that they are opting in to FirstNet, making them each the first department in their state to join the network.

The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol and the City of Richmond, Virginia all recently announced their subscription to FirstNet in order to improve first responder communication, according to a press release from FirstNet.

The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office is the first department in Texas to opt-in to FirstNet, according to KBTX.

“It’s absolutely thrilling to have a dedicated public safety broadband network,” Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk said. “We’re still doing the same job. But with FirstNet, we can do it even better and faster than before. We have all the information we need at our fingertips, backed by the connectivity needed to access it. And most importantly, it keeps our deputies out in the neighborhoods, so we can spend more time serving Brazos County.”

Kansas Highway Patrol Colonel Mark Bruce said FirstNet is “truly transformational.”

“We’re proud to be the state’s anchor tenant for this cutting-edge public safety broadband network,” Bruce said. “We’re just beginning to unleash its potential, but we believe it’s a promising solution that will help us do our jobs better and faster – while staying safer.”

Although the City of Richmond is the first in Virginia to opt-in, Department of Emergency Communications’ director Stephen Willoughby said the decision was a “no-brainer.”

“Here we had a federally subsidized program offering us an efficient, reliable system for our first responders to share mobile data with priority and pre-emption,” Willoughby said.

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