Project 25 Technology Information Group

Monday, January 25, 2021

Project 25 Technology Information Group


Project 25 Technology Interest Group


P25 System of the Month


Monmouth County NJ






The Project 25 (P25) Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) allows Integration of Zetron’s P25 Console dispatch system with Motorola’s Project 25 Phase II network.

It is the first multi-vendor deployment to utilize the CSSI in a P25 Phase-II solution.




Located in the central part of New Jersey, Monmouth County is the northernmost county along the Jersey Shore. With an area of about 665 square miles and a population of approximately 630,000, it is the fifth most-populous county in the state.

The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office maintains two consolidated public safety answering points (PSAPs) to manage the county’s public-safety and law-enforcement communications. CentComm in Freehold, NJ, is the main center and serves most of the county. SouthComm in Neptune, NJ, is the smaller of the two and serves the shore area of the county.

“We’re a busy operation,” says Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “Our Communications Division answers 9-1-1 calls for 45 of the county’s 53 municipalities and provides dispatch for 20 police departments, 59 fire companies, and 31 first-aid squads. About 550,000 calls come into the communications center annually.”

Golden explains why Monmouth County recently decided to construct and equip a new main communication center. “CentComm was built nearly 30 years ago. Not only had the equipment become antiquated, but we had outgrown the space,” he says. “There was also not enough redundancy built into our communications systems. In fact, we originally built SouthComm as a stop-gap measure to add redundancy until we could update the equipment in the other center.”


The New P25 System and PSAP Gets Underway


When the time was right, Monmouth County decided to not only update their equipment, but to also construct a new facility from the ground up.

Planning the new center was a seven-year process that included soliciting and prioritizing input from agency administrators and other stakeholders connected to the new center. A key undertaking involved finding new communications equipment that would provide the updated functionality, interoperability, redundancy, and ease of use required to meet these stakeholders’—and Monmouth County’s— immediate and projected needs.

Bid specifications were written to ensure that the agency’s requirements were clearly defined.

Then a request for proposals was issued for a solution that would integrate a Project 25 (P25) Phase II network with a state-of-the-art digital dispatch console. Motorola responded with a bid based on a 60-position Zetron Advanced Communications (AcomEVO) system connected through the P25 Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) to Motorola’s ASTRO 25 Phase II infrastructure. This is the proposal Monmouth County chose for their new center. It was a ground-breaking solution in a number of ways.


The Importance of P25 Phase II and the CSSI


The benefit of P25 Phase II is that it offers twice the spectrum efficiency provided by Phase I. And the CSSI is an open-standards-based interface that allows customers to integrate console and network solutions from different vendors. The deployment for Monmouth County was the first in the industry to offer the CSSI in a P25 Phase-II solution. Zetron’s AcomEVO was the first third-party console to integrate with Motorola’s ASTRO 25 system. The P25 CSSI interface defines the technology that would make this integration possible.


Freedom of Choice


When asked why they preferred a solution that combined the equipment of two different manufacturers, Golden’s answer underscores the value of open standards to customers: it’s about the freedom to pick and choose.

“We wanted the Motorola network and its Phase-II functionality as well as the Zetron Acom console,” he says. “We’ve used Zetron consoles for many years and were very satisfied with their reliability and performance. We like the functionality, customizability and room for growth the Acom system offers. It would also support our legacy VHF radio equipment as well as our new P25 network. This is important because many of our smaller agencies are still on VHF.”


A Smooth Cutover



“We remained in the old center and kept it running until the new center construction was finished and the equipment installation and testing were complete,” says Golden. “The transition to the new center involved not just our new consoles, but all of our equipment, including our CAD and phone lines. Before making the final cutover, we had to ensure that all of the phone lines from the smaller municipalities we support were ringing into the new center. This took several days, but it was a smooth transition.”


Best in state


More than 250 people attended the official ribbon-cutting ceremony held April 29, 2014, to inaugurate the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Center. The initial response to the center was overwhelmingly positive, and the good reviews continue to roll in.

“Administrators from PSAPs all over the state and throughout the Eastern Seaboard are very excited about it,” says Golden proudly. “They’re telling us it’s the best, most up-to-date PSAP in New Jersey.


A copy of the article can be downloaded on the link below:


P25 System of the Month: Monmouth County NJ



To see how your P25 System can be nominated as a P25 System of the Month


Stephen Nichols

Director Project 25 Technology Interest Group

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Del Smith, the Project 25 Technology Interest Group Chairman, presented a Project 25 Update to the Communications and Technology Committee at the IACP Conference in Chicago


The presentation included information about new resources available to P25 users on the website, a new P25 pager, and a detailed update of changes to the P25 suite of standards from the recent TIA TR-8 meetings in Seattle.

A future view of ongoing work for the P25 Standards Committees and information on how interested users can become involved in the process was also shared.


A power point  presentation can be downloaded from the link below.


P25 Update for IACP conference

Radio Resource Magazine publishes an article on the latest P25 Trunked Interoperability event.


A link to the article on the Radio Resource WEB site is below as well as a copy of the article including comments from our Treasurer and TIA PRS chairman Chris Lougee who was present for the testing.

“8 Suppliers Participate in P25 Trunked Interoperability Event

By Sandra Wendelken, Editor

Monday, September 28, 2015 | Comments

Eight manufacturers participated in a Project 25 (P25) trunked interoperability event held by Motorola Solutions the week of Aug. 24.

The P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) test plan prescribed in the Trunked Interoperability requirements section of the current Compliance Assessment Bulletin (P25-CAB-CAI_TEST_REQ_CAB-March 2010) was used. The CAB traces directly to the TIA published Interoperability Testing for Voice Operation in Trunked Systems (TIA-102.CABC-A), and the Recommended Compliance Assessment Tests for Trunking Interoperability (TSB-102.CBBJ) documents.

Eight manufacturers participated in the event, testing one model class in one frequency band. For example, each manufacturer completed one set of the CAB trunked interoperability tests. Participants’ subscriber radios were programmed with information provided by Motorola Solutions in advance. Each participating company was required to bring at least one technical staff person with knowledge of its radio, the CAB and its related Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) test documents.

Harris, Icom America, JVCKENWOOD, Midland, Relm Wireless, Simoco, Tait Communications and Technisonic also participated in the event.

Michael Schafer, president of independent testing laboratory Compliance Testing, led the testing. The team recorded each test result in the “test application,” an Excel file with two tabs: a vendor Information cover sheet identifying the test radios and vendor test pass criteria describing the expected hardware responses and display for each test. Each participant had to submit fully completed test application and test pass criteria by July 17 or they were disqualified from participation.

The Motorola team of system operation and administration experts, led by John Lambrou, Motorola Solutions P25 compliance, system standards, coordinated the system settings for each set of tests. The Motorola Solutions team, Compliance Testing team and the equipment manufacturer team all worked together to conduct each test and record the results.

“I found the Motorola Solutions team to be extremely professional with a strict attention to detail and adherence to the testing protocols,” said Chris Lougee, TIA Private Radio Section (PRS) chair and with Icom America. “I was impressed with the strict independence of Compliance Testing as the third-party accredited test organization. They took their role very seriously with strict discipline and adherence to the test plan.”

Compliance Testing will provide participants with a detailed test report of the results of the testing of their product to enable them to create their own suppliers’ declaration of compliance (SDoCs) and summary test reports. Any potential end users should expect P25 interoperability with Motorola Solutions ASTRO system Release 7.15 with GTR8000 base station.

“The testing process I observed this week was a testament to the collaborative efforts by industry, end users and government agencies,” Lougee said. Industry is clearly a stakeholder in the CAP. A continued sustained joint effort between CAP and the industry/end user representatives in TIA/P25 will be instrumental in the continued success of CAP.” This event was made possible by Motorola Solutions and Compliance Testing lab recognitions as defined and administered by CAP. CAP specified the guidance provided by the CAB from tests created and maintained by TIA and approved by the P25 Steering Committee. In 2013, DHS Science and Technology (S&T) announced that three accreditation boards (ABs) — American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board and International Accreditation New Zealand — were selected to re-accredit the eight laboratories that test P25 equipment to verify required standards are met. However, the re-accreditation has not yet begun. The prior accreditations are grandfathered by DHS until the new accreditation program begins.

Earlier this year, Compliance Testing requested funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to add two more trunked systems to its lab, providing a one-stop shop for interoperability testing.”



PTIG presented a Panel on Project 25 Basics for the Non Technologist at the recent APCO Show

Project 25 has evolved as the dominant Standard for Public Safety communications systems in North America. Many PSAPs are now operating P25 Systems. FCC narrowband requirements have caused many older systems to be recently upgraded to P25 to meet FCC narrowband requirements. Also many existing P25 Phase 1 networks are in the process of migration to more spectrum efficient P25 Phase 2. Through all this, P25 remains a complex and mysterious entity for the majority of dispatchers, radio system administrators and other practitioners. At best it seems clouded in technical engineering jargon with few direct links from the technical workings of the systems and products to benefits for the users of the equipment.

This session covered the basics of the standard and details the various over the air interfaces and network interfaces and how they enable interoperability between: multiple users, agencies, jurisdictions and regions. It also explained the potential barriers to interoperability.


Neil Horden: Chief Consultant, Federal Engineering:


The basics of the standard and details about the various over the air interfaces and network interfaces and how they enable interoperability between: multiple users, agencies, jurisdictions and regions. Potential barriers to interoperability.  Detailed explanations of unit to unit interoperability using the Common Air Interface as well as network links using the Console Interface, Inter-System interface and Fixed station interface. Explanation of the evolution of P25 from Phase 1 systems to Phase 2 systems.


Jim Downes: DHS Office of Emergency Communications


A variety of Frequently Asked questions were asked and answered in laymen’s terms about P25. Some examples: What is P25? How does it facilitate interoperability? What is P25 Phase1? Phase2? Does the future First-Net LTE broadband data network make P25 obsolete? How to get Multi Vendor radios approved on a P25 system. P25 ISSI and CSSI and Interoperability, P25 Encryption, When will the P25 Standard be complete?


Jim Junkins: Director, Harrisonville/Rockingham Emergency Communications


1) Phase 1/Phase 2 mixed mode fleet mapping, 2) User radio programming concepts/overview...dealing with the complexities and intricacies of programming multiple P25 systems, with legacy, non-public safety systems as well as multi-band radios, etc.  


Steve Nichols: PTIG


A variety of resource materials and tools such as the P25 FAQ resource, P25 capabilities Guide, NPSTC PAM tool, and Project 25 Standards update were identified and access links shared.

Full PPT for the P25 Session Download



PTIG panel at the recent APCO Show in Washington DC

Now you can have the Console of Choice for your P25 Radio Systemu

In the past, call center console choices were limited to one or possibly two options. One offered by the radio system manufacturer and the other from an alternative supplier that often did not have control for all of the features and capabilities that the system offered. Today that is no longer the case. The Project 25 Suite of Standards has been updated to include a console interface the CSSI that allows Project 25 LMR trunking systems to interoperate with a variety of consoles from multiple P25 equipment manufacturers. This session offered case studies of Lancaster County PA, The State of Oregon, and a Federal Agency who have successfully integrated consoles and systems from different manufacturers. In many cases the ability to use an existing console saved significant costs in re-training and allowed a fast efficient migration to a new radio system run by software intimately familiar to the dispatchers.

The session covered a case studies on how the P25 Console Interface (CSSI) was used to interface a console and radio system from different manufacturers. The planning, scope, issues, and lessons learned by the radio system manager and dispatch supervisor were presented. The cost efficiencies and other benefits were addressed. Examples of a Federal Agency using the CSSI and ISSI for interoperability was also presented. A basic technical description of the CSSI was presented and offered as a resource document.

The presenters on the panel are listed below:

Randy Richmond, Standards and Regulatory Specialist, (Zetron)

Tim Baldwin, Deputy Director, (Lancaster County)

Larry Hicks, VP Engineering, (Pantel)

Ron Postma, Console Implementation Manager, (Oregon DoT)

Robin Grier, President, (Catalyst)

A Link to the Full PPT for the Console of Choice Session is below

P25 Console of Choice using the P25 CSSI





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