With the establishment of Project 25 (P25) by the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO), the association set new standards that would greatly increase interoperability. The importance of interoperability is that it allows public safety officials to perform their work much more efficiently and safer than in the past. But prior to P25, there was another project; Project 16 (P16).

Established in 1979, APCO-16 was a new standard dealing with the operation and functionality of trunked radio systems. While APCO-16 was a step in the right direction, it is analog and trunked only. APCO-16 elevated the standard of radios but it didn’t solve the problem of the lack of interoperability.

Ten years later, in 1989, APCO released a new set of standards, P25. These new standards dealt with digital technology and allowed for both conventional and trunked telephony. The most important aspect of these new standards was that it created the type of interoperability that was sorely missed by so many public safety officials.

In the past, when two public safety departments from two different areas came together, the communication was lacking which make their jobs much more difficult and put them in more danger during emergency situations. P25 has solved that problem so that public safety personnel can now better protect, not only themselves, but also their communities.

P25 has become the main standard of which all public safety departments should be following. While APCO-16 may be fine in many industries, interoperability is paramount in emergency situations which is why P25 is essential. RELM Wireless is proud to service emergency personnel from around the country with top-quality P25 radios to ensure that they are fully equipped to handle any situation that may come their way. It is this equipment that they depend on to keep themselves and their communities safe.