Wyoming APCO History
The Wyoming chapter of APCO was formed in that latter half of 1980. That was the year that the Wyoming Legislature had approved the creation of the State Agency Law Enforcement Communications System (SALECS), a duplex VHF system to provide statewide communications for the following agencies: Game & Fish, Livestock Board, Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Highway Patrol. Previous to this time, frequency coordination for public safety entities in Wyoming had been handled by the Colorado APCO chapter. With the magnitude of the SALECS project ahead, it was felt that the time was right to create a Wyoming chapter.
A formation meeting was announced and interested parties convened at the WYDOT auditorium where the formalities of chapter creation were undertaken. During the 1980's membership was small and pretty much limited to the dispatcher community. Meetings were held on a regular basis, but the primary activity was that of frequency coordination. The chapter’s first frequency coordinator was Kent Drummond, who also worked for the Telecommunications Division of the State’s Department of Administration. That activity was passed off to John Greene, program manager of WYDOT Telecommunications, in 1987, and further passed along to Bill Smith, WYDOT radio tech supervisor, in 1988.
In the late 1980's the FCC put out the requirement for the creation of a regional plan for the allocation of 800 MHz frequencies. Although this required the creation of a Regional Planning Committee, the nucleus of the committee came from the Wyoming APCO chapter. Bill Smith was the convener of the committee and ultimately served as its chairman. The Region 46 800MHz plan was submitted and approved by the FCC in 1990. Bill Smith continued to serve as WYAPCO Frequency Coordinator until his retirement in June of 2002. Bill also served as national delegate and attended his first national conference in Sparks, Nevada. The 700 MHz Regional Planning Group activity has been merged with this effort. Larry Sheridan, WYDOT Communications Supervisor, is the current Frequency Coordinator; and Marc Joiner, WY BLM Radio Program Manager is the Chair of the Regional Planning Group.
The WYAPCO Chapter was minimally active during the early 1990's. When Dan Perko became Chapter President in the mid 1990's the chapter really came back to life. It has been instrumental in advancing Wyoming’s efforts to develop a statewide “interoperable” public safety radio infrastructure, by providing the necessary interfacing with politicians and administrators at all public sector levels. The project, known as “WyoLink”, made great progress during 2003 and after contract award in 2004 entered the Design/Pilot phase.
Recent Annual Chapter Conferences have provided a focal point for members to stay current on issues that affect them. National issues like 9-11, terrorism indicators, and homeland security have increased the need for new training courses. The state wide communications project, frequency narrow banding and rebanding, E-911 Phase 1 & 2, wireless E-911, and new voice communications technologies like that offered by Vonage create challenges to public safety service providers. Collectively chapter members can raise issues, offer solutions or just stay abreast of the changing world in which we live and work.
Prepared and Submitted July, 2005