Office of the Mayor-President

For release: IMMEDIATELY

Release Date: 03/28/2005


In keeping with Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden’s emphasis on making public safety a top priority, East Baton Rouge Parish will soon activate a fiber optic ring that will allow for real time communications between city and state emergency agencies.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (EBR OEP) has successfully secured funding from the Louisiana Homeland Security Office to build the network infrastructure to connect the Louisiana State Police Emergency Operations Center, the headquarters of EBR OEP and the East Baton Rouge City-Parish Governmental Building.

“One of our top priorities is to improve public safety by increasing interoperability between the various law enforcement agencies here in the City-Parish,” Holden said. “This is a need we heard frequently from our Green Light Citizens Council, and will be a tremendous benefit in emergency situations. This real time voice and video communication will be extremely helpful to East Baton Rouge Parish and the State if we are forced to enact a hurricane evacuation plan similar to last year.”

The fiber optic ring was completed by the City-Parish in October of last year. Once operational, it will support voice, video and multiple data communications between the Baton Rouge City Police, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and the State Police. In the case of an emergency, servers at each location will preserve critical data infrastructure and allow for continuity of governmental operations.

The activation is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2005 hurricane season, so that the live traffic video feeds and online mapping functions of the City-Parish will be available to state agencies in the event of an evacuation. The servers are expected to be in place and operational by October.

This project is a partnership between the State Police, the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security, the Mayor-President’s Office, EBR OEP and the East Baton Rouge Parish Information Services Department.

“We will continue to pursue these types of technologies and use partnerships to maximize efficiency and minimize cost to our taxpayers,” Holden said.