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In the News

CTRMA Chair receives CAPCOG Regionalism Award

Thursday, December 13, 2018

CAPCOG presented Ray Wilkerson, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority chair, with its 2018 Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award on Wednesday at its annual membership meeting.

“Ray has spent decades volunteering and making a difference in Central Texas through his work on critical regional issues,” said CAPCOG Executive Committee member and Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, who presented the award to Wilkerson. “Few people have given as much to Central Texas and beyond as Ray Wilkerson. I am honored to congratulate my friend and mentor on receiving the Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award for 2018.”

The award is named after a former Bastrop County judge who served as CAPCOG’s first chair in 1970 and then became the first president of the Texas Association of Regional Councils — the state association representing Texas’ 24 councils of governments. It honors a person who plays a pivotal role in strengthening the Capital Area through their actions and who consistently advocates a regional and multijurisdictional approach through their work with local governments and other organizations. Wilkerson has been instrumental in expanding the regional transportation network by working on projects such as US Highway 183 and State Highway 45. He also is a member of the Colorado River Foundation Tributary League Endowment and Colorado River Land Trust. He was a founding member of the Colorado River Alliance, which champions the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and engagement, and is a former Lower Colorado River Authority chair.

“Regionalism is going to be the only success of what is going to make Central Texas work, transportation is not for one city it is for everybody…” Wilkerson said. “Let’s continue to work together, so that we understand regional is a word in everything we are talking about, and it is not just one area.”

Other Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism award recipients include Texas Senator Kirk Watson; Texas Representative Paul Workman; Dr. W. Neal Kocurek; Robert J Huston, former Texas Commission on Environmental Quality chair; former Texas Senator Troy Fraser; former Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos; and Bob Daigh, former Texas Department of Transportation Austin District Engineer.

> Read more about Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award.

Commute Solutions networking event shares strategies

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The CAPCOG Commute Solutions Program and the City of Austin Transportation Department will host the second annual Commute Solutions Networking Luncheon on Dec. 17, so program partners can learn more about reducing traffic congestion and sustainable transportation options in the Capital Area.

The luncheon will feature discussions about important updates to Commute Solutions programs, Austin’s Strategic Mobility Plan, and Capital Metro’s Project Connect and RideShare programs. It also will let partnering organizations discuss barriers/issues with promoting sustainable commuting within their organization and learn how others may have dealt with similar issues.

While CommuteSolutions.com is a one-stop resource for sustainable commuting options in the Capital Area, the networking luncheon provides our partners with a one-stop event to learn more about the future of their commutes, how to reduce traffic and transportation cost, and improve the region’s air quality by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

> Read more about Commute Solutions.
> Go to CommuteSolutions.com.

AAACAP helps care managers Untangle Alzheimer’s with seminar

Friday, December 07, 2018

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area, a CAPCOG division, will host Dr. Tam Cummings for her Untangling Alzheimer’s seminar so professional care-manager organizations and AAACAP partners can learn how to better recognize dementia related issues and recommend resources to people with dementia and their caregivers. The seminar will be from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the CAPCOG offices, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310 Suite 165 in Austin.

Cummings, a nationally recognized gerontologist and dementia expert, will cover topics such as the stages of dementia, the eight most common forms of dementia, behaviors of the disease, and caregiver stress. AAACAP selected such topics so care-manager organizations can have more accurate knowledge about dementia and share information about the disease in their local communities. Cummings, who has spoken at previous AAACAP events, has worked in dementia communities for more than two decades and is dedicated and passionate about helping people learn about dementia care. She has authored, “Untangling Alzheimer’s, the Guide for Families and Professionals”.

> Register to attend the seminar.
> Learn more about AAACAP.

Aging Services extends hand to area nonprofits and other organizations

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

CAPCOG’s Aging Services is conducting a second Your Partner workshop after the initial workshop was highly attended. The workshop is a comprehensive overview of the Area Agency on Aging and the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Capital Area services, so care managers and helping professionals can be better informed about resources for older adults, persons with disabilities and their caregivers. The second Your Partner workshop is scheduled for 9 a.m., Jan. 11, 2019 at CAPCOG, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165 in Austin.

“It is wonderful to partner with so many folks from our region that perform a variety of tasks,” said Aging Services Assistant Director Siena Lindemann about the more than 45 people in attendance at the first workshop in October. “It takes a lot of us as a community to support older adults and those with disabilities. This workshop lets them see how our piece of the puzzle fits into what they do.”

During the workshop, each program in the division discusses its services and specific avenues for referral and access; some program areas include health and wellness, care coordination, housing navigation, ombudsman, and informational referral. Workshop attendees also get a chance to ask questions about how their organizations can interact and benefit from the services. The workshop also lets attendees network with professionals in similar fields.

> Learn about CAPCOG's Aging Services Division.
> Register for the Your Partner workshop.

GIS Program assists with early Hill Country flooding analysis

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The CAPCOG Regional Planning and Services’ GIS Program assisted the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Llano County with determining height estimations for the Rural Road 2900 bridge reconstruction and disaster debris cleanup efforts through mapping and data collection shortly after the Hill Country floods.

“We are here to help in whatever way we can, especially during emergencies,” said Craig Eissler, CAPCOG GIS program manager. “The CAPCOG GIS team often conducts robust geospatial analysis, but assisting with data collection and dissemination should lead to a swifter recovery and mitigation.” 

For TxDOT, CAPCOG GIS obtained the 50-yr and 100-yr flood elevations and hydrologic discharge, or water-flow, rates from the current FEMA Flood Insurance Study for the Llano River very near where the 2900 bridge to Kingsland washed away. This baseline data will be used with other analysis to begin design for a new bridge. For Llano County, the GIS Program plotted damage assessment data collected in the field using global positioning system (GPS) receivers on a county map according to severity. Creating such a map can assist with prioritizing cleanup and recovery efforts as well as record-keeping for potential financial assistance.

> Read more about the GIS Program.

CAPCOG launches Water Central Texas to consolidate info

Thursday, November 15, 2018

CAPCOG has created a virtual clearinghouse of regional water information as a resource for local governments to find information about water issues throughout the region and state that could impact their jurisdictions and policy discussions they may be having. The clearinghouse, Water Central Texas, is available at watercentraltexas.org.

Providing available information on planning, funding, case studies and reports will hopefully create a one-stop-shop; the site’s data is also meant to support existing water planning groups and initiatives. Water Central Texas features CAPCOG presentations and data analyses of the state water plan; a regional map of water authorities, districts and management areas; resources about water levels and conservation tips and guides; and flood prevention orders and studies. CAPCOG plans to continually expand collected information on best practices and case studies for water system conservation and flood mitigation as well as provide a list of funding resources that assist with implementing water management planning measures and infrastructure. CAPCOG also is interested in posting studies done by local governments that could be shared.

> If there is other information that would be helpful, contact Christiane Alepuz in the Regional Planning and Services Division.
> Go to watercentraltexas.org.

CAPCOG General Assembly to receive legislative preview

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The CAPCOG General Assembly will conduct its annual membership meeting on Dec. 12 to elect the 2019 Executive Committee and hear a preview of the 86th Texas Legislative Session from state legislators serving in our region. The meeting will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wyndham Garden Austin, 3401 S, Interstate 35 in Austin.

Prior to every Texas legislative session, CAPCOG brings together a panel of state representatives to discuss key issues that could impact cities, counties and other forms of local governments. Topics discussed during previous General Assembly meetings have included regional transportation infrastructure, public safety, property taxes, the state budget, higher education and workforce training. 

CAPCOG has already emailed a list of proposed county and city officials for the Executive Committee elections; however, a final version will be sent with the meetings’ agenda due to contested local elections on Nov. 6. CAPCOG also will announce the recipients of this years’ Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award, that recognizes a person’s pivotal role in strengthening the region through their actions; the Phill Parmer Volunteer Award; the Bill Gill Central Texas Air Quality Leadership Award, and the Air Central Texas Outstanding Organization Award.

> RSVP for the General Assembly meeting.
> Learn more about the General Assembly.

Economic resiliency project receives national award

Thursday, November 08, 2018

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) awarded CAPCOG the Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award for its Disaster Resiliency & Recovery in the Texas Capital Area, The Economic Impact and Local Response to the 2015 Memorial Day Disaster Event report. The report collected damage assessments from the flood in Wimberley and Hays County to quantify the disaster’s economic impact; it also estimated how such a flood would affect other areas in the region to plan for future resiliency projects.

“It is great to be recognized for the work we are doing to make the region more resilient,” said Chris Schreck, CAPCOG Regional Planning and Services (RPS) director. “This reflects the quality of CAPCOG’s economic resiliency efforts throughout the region in not only its analytical reporting but in helping communities identify projects and apply for economic recovery funds.”

Since the report was completed, CAPCOG has dedicated more resources to providing technical and analytical assistance for projects that mitigate economic damages from Hurricane Harvey and the 2018 Hill Country floods. It’s also helping communities determine what future infrastructure projects could prevent or limit economic disruption caused by businesses closing during and after disasters. This work has been funded by the U.S. Economic Development Agency.
“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award demonstrates the value of regional development organizations and highlights their critical role in promoting economic development,” said Doug Elliott, the 2017-2018 NADO president and East Central Iowa Council of Governments executive director.

> Read the report.
> Learn more about the Planning and Economic Development program. 

Homeland Security sets mandatory grant workshops

Monday, November 05, 2018

CAPCOG will hold two mandatory workshops for local jurisdictions seeking State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) funding, which has funded projects and public safety equipment such as regional training exercises, disaster planning, command vehicles, hazardous material and SWAT team gear. The workshops will be at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and 9:30 a.m.. Dec. 13 at CAPCOG, 6800 Burleson Road Building 310, Suite 165 in Austin.

CAPCOG anticipates between $1.3 and $1.4 million in SHSP funds will be allocated to the region for the upcoming year. While funds are awarded to local jurisdictions, part of CAPCOG’s ranking criteria is that projects and equipment can be deployed regionally. Workshop attendees will learn about the program’s application process, state and federal rules, supporting documentation, and key dates for the program. As part of this grant process, CAPCOG provides the state with a ranked funding recommendation, but the Office of Governor selects which projects will receive funding.

> Register for a grant workshop.
> Learn more about the grant process.

CAPCOG master trainer strives to help others prevent falls, others can too

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Melinda Carter has worked as a registered nurse since 1982 throughout Texas and has actively treated people’s illness and conditions. But in 2012, she wanted to give back to her community in a different way; she wanted to help prevent people from even entering the hospital. So Carter volunteered to be a coach and then a master trainer for A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls — a CAPCOG program that seeks volunteers to improve the health and wellness of older adults.

“I love it, I love to teach, and I love older people, and I love protecting people,” said Carter, who has been training other volunteers since 2016. “I have been teaching people at senior centers, community centers, and churches ever since.”

The A Matter of a Balance, evidence-based program is one of the greatest tools to prevent falls. It helps older adults reduce their risk and fear of falling, through practical strategies and to maintain active, healthy lifestyles. CAPCOG’s Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) puts on the eight-week program several times a year at different locations. While AAACAP pays some coaches, the program relies mostly on volunteers to spread the program throughout the region. At least once a year and more often if there is demand, AAACAP hosts a coaches training.

Falls among older adults can be costly and end with long hospital stays. One in four Americans who are 65 years old or older fall every year, and falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. Being A Matter of Balance coach helps teach older adults to view falls as controllable, set realistic goals for increasing activity, change their environment to reduce fall risks, and promote exercise to increase strength and balance.

“As a volunteer you can be out in the community doing exactly what I am doing,” Carter said. “It is so rewarding, because I get to see such drastic changes in every single person. When they do their exercises and learn the program, they are empowering themselves and staying safe.” This program uses a variety of methods to illustrate its practices, making it fun and active to teach. “All the facets of what people learn over the eight weeks come together, and as your students experience the whole program, it is priceless to know they might not restrict their activities, they might go places, they might not just sit in the recliner because they are afraid of falling,” Carter added.

> Find out how to schedule A Matter of Balance programs or to become a coach.
> Learn more about AAACAP.
 

CAPCOG encourages teens to pursue law enforcement careers

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Roger Sprott and Kelsey Dean sit at a booth during a career fair at Georgetown High School.

Roger Sprott, RLEA Chief Instructor, and Kelsey Dean, PSAP specialist, attend a Georgetown career fair.

The CAPCOG Regional Law Enforcement Academy and Emergency Communications Division attended a career fair at Georgetown High School to educate students and their parents about becoming a peace officer, jailer and emergency telecommunicator and how these positions have an invaluable role in every community.

“In public safety, there are several career paths people can take, and it’s important that students know all their options to make informed decisions,” said Kelsey Dean, CAPCOG public safety answering point specialist. “Many students don’t even know becoming an emergency telecommunicator is an option they can pursue right out of high school.”

Peace officers and emergency telecommunicators are positions in high demand by local governments. There are currently 13 agencies seeking emergency telecommunications positions at the 29 public safety answering points, or 9-1-1 call centers, throughout the region. Several jurisdictions are also seeking peace officers.

> Read more about RLEA.
> Learn more about the Emergency Communications Division.
> Find your public safety training.

Residents should update their WarnCentralTexas information

Thursday, October 18, 2018

CAPCOG recently upgraded the regional notification system (RNS) that powers WarnCentralTexas.org to bring residents and emergency response personnel a more streamlined way of connecting with each other during natural and man-made disasters. As part of this upgrade, it is recommended that previously self-registered participants update their RNS information by either using a link inside an email from the new vendor, Everbridge, or going to WarnCentralTexas.org, clicking on the “Get Alerts” button, and completing the sign-up form.

On Sept. 26, CAPCOG sent emails to self-registered participants who had previously registered with email addresses encouraging them to update their contact information. The emails could have been sent from noreply@everbridge.net, noreply@everbridge.com or noreply@everbridgemail.com. Updating or registering anew gives participants access to a user account portal that lets them opt to receive emergency notifications by either cellphone calls, emails, or text messages for one more addresses. They also can opt-in to receive particular national weather alerts, such as severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, and flashflood warnings. After updating their information, the portal grants them access to make future updates and read active local government notifications in their area.

Using the Warn Central Texas system, emergency responders can send hyper-local, targeted messages to people in specific neighborhoods or on a particular street. While self-registering is highly recommended, residents who don’t register their cellphone or email information will receive emergency warnings on landline and VoIP phones using CAPCOG’s 9-1-1 database. All jurisdictions in the ten-county region can use the system to share critical emergency information events, such as:

  • Evacuations from floods and wildfires 
  • Shelter-in-place information during law enforcement incidents 
  • Public health and medical emergencies

> Get Alerts.
> Learn more about Warn Central Texas.
> Read about the Homeland Security Division.

CAPCOG offers emergency ride reimbursement region wide

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

As part of its Commute Solutions Program, CAPCOG is offering sustainable commuters, those who use  non-single-occupant cars to travel, an option to offset their cost to get home if an emergency occurs — the Emergency Ride Home Program. The program reimburses those who log their carpool, vanpool, public transit, bicycle or walking commutes at mycommutesolutions.com if they need to pay a ride service to travel home or to get to another location, such as a hospital, for an emergency.

Worrying about not having a personal car with them at work or on an errand to get to an emergency destination can prevent some commuters from making more sustainable choices; the Emergency Ride Home Program seeks to eliminate that concern by letting residents know they have an option for reimbursement. Single-occupant vehicle commuters make up a significant portion of the traffic in the region, which contributes to traffic congestion and the creation of air pollutants.

To qualify for the program, residents must meet the following:

  • Have a mycommutesolutions.com account
  • Logged at least one sustainable commute at mycommutesolutions.com in the seven days prior to the emergency
  • Used a qualifying mode of transportation such as carpool or biking
  • Live or work within the CAPCOG region
  • Have a qualifying emergency such as a personal or family illness or personal or family emergency like a home break-in

> Get more details about the Emergency Ride Home Program and its qualifications.
> Learn more about Commute Solutions.

CAPCOG solicits Jack Griesenbeck award nominations

Monday, October 08, 2018

CAPCOG is soliciting nominations for its 2018 Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award that recognizes a person who has played a pivotal role in strengthening the region through their actions.

Named after Bastrop County Judge Jack Griesenbeck, CAPCOG’s first chair, the regionalism award honors someone who consistently advocates a regional and multijurisdictional approach through their work with local governments, nonprofits, and other organizations. Nominees can include volunteers, community leaders or elected officials whose work has stretched beyond county lines to further regional efforts.

> Get the regionalism award nomination form.
> Read about previous Jack Griesenbeck awards recipients.
> Submit the form to Mason Canales, CAPCOG member services coordinator.

ADRC to hold workshop about veterans, families’ needs

Monday, October 08, 2018

The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Capital Area, a CAPCOG program, will conduct a workshop educating regional organizations that provide services and benefits supporting active-duty military, veterans and their families. The Military Veteran Peer Support Network will lead the workshop from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30 at CAPCOG, 6800 Burleson Road Building 310, Suite 165 in Austin.

“Many active-duty military service members, veterans and their families may be unaware of benefits and support that are available to them, and often there is a communication disconnect between them and those offering the services,” said Vivian Harris, ADRC coordinator. “Workshop attendees will learn more about the communication differences and recognizing particular needs that service members may not even recognize themselves.”

The ADRC is the region’s primary connection between older adults, individuals with disabilities and community-based organizations servicing them, so it strives to ensure those organizations are addressing veterans’ needs properly. The workshop will inform attendees about military culture; common physical and behavioral health challenges; treatment options; and resources for service-members, veterans and their families. It also teaches how to be an effective mentor.

> Register for the workshop.
> Learn more about the ADRC.

CAPCOG upgrades Warn Central Texas notification system

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

(CAPCOG is upgrading the regional notification system that powers WarnCentralTexas.org to bring residents emergency and public safety warnings they need to protect their families, properties and selves. As part of the upgrade, CAPCOG recommends that previously self-registered participants update their notification information by using the link inside an email sent through the new Everbridge system.

Current self-registered participants should have received an email from Warn Central Texas using either a noreply@everbridge.net, noreply@everbridge.com or noreply@everbridgemail.com email address. Following the link inside the email will give them access to a user account portal that lets them update multiple voice and text phone numbers as well as email addresses and physical addresses. They can also opt-in to receive particular national weather alerts, such as severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, and flashflood warnings. After updating their notification information, the portal grants them access to make future updates and read active notifications in their area sent by their local governments.

WarnCentralTexas.org is a free public service provided by CAPCOG in conjunction with the region’s cities and counties for individuals living, working or visiting Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties. Using this system, emergency responders can send hyper-local, targeted messages to people in specific neighborhoods or streets. Local governments communicate primarily in English, and make every effort where possible to also send critical alerts in Spanish. The notification information is strictly used by local governments to send emergency warnings and opted-in messages.

If a resident receives multiple emails from the system requesting they update their information, it is extremely important they do so using the link in the email. Updating their information will ensure its accuracy letting them continue to receive emergency warnings for their current address and preventing them from receiving the same notification multiple times.

Residents who haven’t registered to receive emergency warnings at WarnCentralTexas.org should do so. It is important to note newer cellphone models receive federal notifications, such as Amber Alerts. WarnCentralTexas.org is a separate system and a critical tool for local first responders to reach the affected public during an emergency. All jurisdictions in the ten-county region can use the system to share critical emergency information events, such as:

  • Evacuations from floods and wildfires 
  • Shelter-in-place information during law enforcement incidents 
  • Public health and medical emergency messages

> Go to WarnCentralTexas.org.
> Read more about the RNS.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Homeland Security Division.

County road inventory leads to more maintenance funding

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The CAPCOG Planning and Economic Development Division helped Blanco, Caldwell, Lee and Llano counties inventory every county-maintained road in effort to not only produce accurate information for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) but also to assist the counties in securing additional road maintenance funding.

Using the region’s 9-1-1 database, which is updated on a monthly basis, CAPCOG identified every county-maintained road and checked it against TxDOT’s current information. “In every county, CAPCOG identified road segments that needed to be added to the TxDOT database,” said Chris Schreck, CAPCOG Planning and Economic director. “With as much growth and development as is happening in our region, there’s a lot to be done to keep databases of roadways current.”

Besides planning purposes, TxDOT uses the county road inventory to distribute funding to the counties for roadway maintenance. The funding is distributed in proportion to the number of lane-miles maintained by each county, so the more county-maintained roadway miles there are in TxDOT’s County Road Inventory database, the more funding a county receives from the state.

> Read more about the CAPCOG Planning and Economic Development Division.

Warn Central Texas self-registrations postponed during system transfer

Friday, September 21, 2018

CAPCOG and its local government partners selected a new regional notification system vendor — Everbridge — and is moving to the new platform. To manage the data transfer, CAPCOG is temporarily shutting down self-registrations at WarnCentralTexas.org from Friday, Sept. 21 to Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Local governments in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson counties will still be able to send emergency warnings to residents during this time, and information at WarnCentralTexas.org will remain on the website. When the self-registration portal is turned back on starting Sept. 26, CAPCOG and Everbridge will send an email to all current self-registered participants asking them to update their information. Updating their information will ensure their info is accurate and may prevent them from receiving the same emergency alert multiple times.

> Read more about the regional notification system.
> Go to WarnCentralTexas.org.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Homeland Security Division.

Fayette County Narcotics K-9 Unit receives Interdiction Awards at annual conference

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sgt. Randy Thumann, of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, was named 2017-18 Criminal Interdiction Officer of the Year for his work stopping drug trafficking through Fayette County. Thumann has worked with CAPCOG’s Criminal Justice Program to secure Office of the Governor grants to buy equipment that improves Fayette County’s Interdiction Officer’s law enforcement capabilities. As part of the county’s most recent grant awards, the Sheriff’s Office purchased an x-ray scanner that lets Thumann search vehicles for hidden compartments containing drugs. “This just shows what a great partnership between the county and CAPCOG can achieve,” said Janet Carrigan, Fayette County homeland security chief and emergency management coordinator.

Thumann was given the award during the annual Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Conference in late August in San Diego. Being named the Criminal Interdiction Officer of the Year is the highest achievement attainable for an interdiction officer in the country. He also received an award for the largest cold-stop heroin seizure in the country.  The record heroin seizure occurred on March 2, 2017 when he discovered 35 kilos, or about 77 pounds, of heroin. He has made 12 seizures in 2018. Thumann was joined in San Diego by his family and Fayette County Sheriff Keith Korenek and Sgt. Ron Naumann.

Sgt. Randy Thumann, of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, receives the Criminal Interdiction Officer of the Year award at the annual Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Conference. He stands long with his wife and Fayette County Sheriff Keith Korenek.

> Read more about the CAPCOG Criminal Justice Program.

9-1-1 network project finishes early, brings added resiliency

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

CAPCOG completed the construction of a secondary, independent fiber-optic line, or a backup network, into every public safety answering point location within the ten-county region. The project was started in mid-2016 and finished a year early. The exception is Hays County since it’s currently constructing a new combined emergency communications center; the backup line to be installed in that facility will be done during its construction.

Installing the additional fiber network creates redundancy for the region’s emergency communications system. Before its installation, a network outage could cause 9-1-1 calls to automatically be rerouted to neighboring PSAPs. This reroute process would lose a caller’s location information, which is beneficial in dispatching emergency responders if a call is dropped. Outages are often due to construction sites cutting a fiber-optic line. The back-up network established two routes for the fiber lines to enter the PSAPs. The backup network also allows for shorter downtimes for network maintenance.

The $6.4 million project had been a major priority for the Strategic Advisory Committee and was recommended for funding to CAPCOG’s Executive Committee, acting in its role as the Capital Area Emergency Communications District Board in 2016.

> Learn more about the CAPCOG Emergency Communications Division.

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