(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02), and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, today announced that the House-Senate Conference Report on funding for Science, State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies for 2006 will include $1.5 million in funding for the Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS). The conference report is in its final version, and it will now go to the full Senate and full House for approval; it will then be given to the president to be signed into law.

SERS is the first large-scale venture to create a countywide response system. It is a cooperative effort between Snohomish County, Everett, Marysville, Edmonds, Woodway, Mountlake Terrace, Briar, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, and Mukilteo.

"County Executive Aaron Reardon has worked hard to improve our ability to respond to law enforcement situations and crises," Murray said. "He is doing an amazing job of using the most cutting-edge technology to coordinate the work of our law enforcement officials and first responders. It's crucial that we learn from the lessons of 9/11 and the recent hurricanes and create a system that allows us to maximize our response capabilities."

"I want to thank Senator Murray for her leadership in securing these funds," said U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02). "As we learned from recent disasters across the U.S., it is critical for law enforcement to be able to communicate with other agencies in a quick and effective manner. This project will make sure that emergency responders across Snohomish County can get and give the information they need when they need it."

“Snohomish County values Senator Murray’s commitment to enhancing our emergency communications systems,” Executive Reardon said. “Hurricane Katrina showed first-hand the need for our first responders to be able to communicate with other public sector agencies. This funding will allow first responders, schools, public works departments, public utilities and public transportation to talk to each other during an emergency or disaster.”

Snohomish County's current radio system lacks the capacity to connect all essential responders to emergency centers. The funding will be used to add four channels to the current emergency response system. This expansion will support countywide interoperability efforts and position local governments for future growth and improved regional emergency response connectivity.