Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, State Police Superintendent and Mr. Mark Moon, Vice President and General Manager of Motorola signed a $329 million contract between Motorola and the Commonwealth of Virginia for the design, construction, and implementation of the Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) on July 13, 2004. A ceremonial contract signing was held on July 16, 2004, in conjunction with a press conference.
Effective July 1, 2011, The Virginia State Police Communications Division assumed the engineering, installation, maintenance, and operations of the STARS system. The STARS Network including the backbone microwave network, the land mobile radio network, the five (5) Tidewater tunnels and two (2) Western tunnels, and all vehicle-based hardware and software for all twenty-one State Agencies were operational.
STARS provides a multi-channel trunked digital voice and data wireless communications capability specifically designed to meet APCO Project 25 public safety requirements. The core microwave network consists of Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) ring-protected transmission paths providing the highest quality of service, security, and reliability possible through controlled system access and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption for law enforcement users when needed. This network supports the 22 participating agencies throughout the Commonwealth and facilitates interoperability with other state, local, and federal agencies.
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