Regional coordination offices were established in early 2006 from recommendations in the PSAP community. Their popularity took off and has resulted in the number of regions to be increased from four to seven. This change has aligned them with the Department of Homeland Security regions and Virginia State Police Divisions.
Currently, each regional coordinator with the support of the PSC and VGIN coordinators provide services in their region to support 9-1-1 and geographic information systems (GIS). Through effective planning, the requests for services are being better managed with a goal to provide the consultative services to the localities that they need to be effective. In a 2016 survey, 93% of localities reported being satisfied with VITA’s regional outreach program.
One of the other key initiatives was the establishment of governance for required standards and the formation of a Regional Advisory Council (RAC) to promote full stakeholder engagement. Virginia Information Technologies Agency’s (VITA’s) Integrated Services Program (ISP) staff established the RAC as a work group to assist the Public Safety Communications (PSC) coordinator. With best practices, ISP staff facilitates the development of documents and the RAC serves as the steering committee. In 2017, three best practices were produced: 9-1-1 Addressing – Operational and Administrative; Public Safety Call Processing; and Wireless 9-1-1 Call Routing Optimization. The RAC also developed a standards document describing the current standard capabilities and services all Virginia PSAPs must provide to their citizens.