Saturday, March 23, 2013 —
RALEIGH – Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan announced today that George Bakolia will join the Department of Public Safety to lead the state’s participation in an emerging national public safety broadband network. Bakolia’s work at NCDPS will focus on FirstNet, a conceptual national broadband network for interoperable communications between public safety responders.
Bakolia has served in state information technology posts since 1990, including State Chief Information Officer and Senior Deputy CIO as well as CIO for the North Carolina Department of Justice.
“With his years of government experience and private-sector information technology background, George Bakolia has the ability and know-how to lead this effort,” Shanahan said.
“It’s critical that our first responders and emergency managers are able to communicate quickly and effectively. FirstNet is the next step in the evolution of our interoperable communication systems.”
North Carolina currently operates the VIPER system for interoperable voice communications and the Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) for data communications.
FirstNet was authorized by Congress as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which provides $121.5 million in matching grant funds to states for planning and preparation for this public safety network. The statewide wireless network will be part of a national network that will allow users of public safety, criminal justice and other critical programs to communicate seamlessly with each other. North Carolina systems already supported by various state agencies will be affected, along with existing local and tribal programs. Some will integrate, others will need to be enhanced, new systems will emerge and others might become obsolete.