The Minnesota Department of Corrections is utilizing new technology to keep our prisons more secure and to make our communities safer. A recently-installed radio system, called Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Responders (AMER), now allows prisons to communicate with one another more quickly.
The need for this technology quickly became apparent when the Department of Corrections locked down all ten state prisons in January. Corrections officers were rounding up member of the Native Mob street gang in connection with a federal investigation into their activities. Corrections staff were able to use new radios to coordinate efforts (as seen on KSTP). From Faribault to St. Cloud to Moose Lake, corrections officers communicated seamlessly with radios on the ARMER radio system.
The ARMER system was developed to allow all public safety entities to have radios that talk to each other. It’s the kind of government reform that just makes sense.
The radios will also help the DOC assist in emergency situations outside prison walls. The department has almost 2,000 correctional officers and k-9 units who are trained to respond to a variety of emergency and sometimes volatile situations.
Events in the past few years have proven the need for technology like the ARMER system. When the 35-W bridge collapsed in 2007, Department of Corrections officers helped provide perimeter security. But without the proper radios, the officers had to depend on others for information. Today, those same men and women could integrate seamlessly into any emergency situation – ready to work alongside police, fire and EMS personnel.
The ARMER radio system allows DOC officials to share resources and gets public safety partners talking. The integration of this new technology is making Minnesota better and safer.