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Governor's School Safety Radio Program FAQ's

1.  How do I place my order for a School Safety Radio?

Answer:  You can place an order by simply going to the hyperlink you received in your email from the Department of Education.  It is a JOT Form titled Iowa School Radio Request.  Follow the instructions, make sure it is correct and if you’re satisfied with your radio choice, click “Submit” at the bottom of the form.  It will automatically go to the Department of Public Safety purchasing and your order will be processed.

2.  Is there a deadline for ordering a School Safety Radio?

Answer:  Yes, all orders must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m., on October 21, 2022.   Late orders will be held and a determination will be made regarding acceptance. 

3.  There are multiple buildings at our school, how do I determine how many radios I qualify for?

Answer:  Each school in the district is eligible for a School Safety Radio.  A separate order form needs to be submitted for each school within the district.  Make sure you add the building name, number, or other identifiers under the section called, “School Building Identifier” field on the order form if there is a special or unique identifier for the building beyond the regular address information.  If this does not apply to your school, then leave it blank. We must know exactly where each radio will be installed.

4.  What if I do not want to participate or order a School Safety Radio?

Answer:  No school is being compelled by the Governor or the Department of Public Safety to participate in this program.  Participation is a decision that should be determined between the school superintendents and local school supervision.

5.  My school already has a School Safety Radio set up with local law enforcement, do I still need to order one through the Governor’s School Safety Initiative?

Answer:  No, you do not. 

6.  My school already has a School Safety Radio set up with local law enforcement, I want to order the State of Iowa offered School Safety Radio because it is better and offers more capabilities and features.  Can I submit a purchase request? 

Answer:  Yes, you can order a radio like everyone else, but you will need to install and use the State purchased radio.

7.  If I have questions or trouble completing the Iowa Governor’s School Safety Radio Request Form, who do I call for assistance?

Answer:  Call Connie Stufflebeem at the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communication System (ISICS) Network Operation Center at (515) 278-5613, between 0800 and 1630, M-F, or send an email to   Connie is one of the DPS Communication Interoperability Bureau’s Assistant System Engineers and she will assist you any way possible.  If she is not available, one of our other technicians or engineers will assist you.

8.  Why do I need to list a Point of Contact for the school radio and who should that person be?

Answer:  We need a Point of Contact listed for the school, when the ordered School Safety Radio has shipped to the vendor, the manufacturer will send an email notification to the identified Iowa School Point of Contact.  The email will include the vendor's name and contact information.  The school will contact the vendor to develop their radio programming, and coordinate training and installation.  A Point of Contact is also needed in case it is necessary to obtain any clarifying information regarding the order form or additional information must be emailed to the school.

9.  Who should be listed as a Point of Contact?

Answer:  The Point of Contact should be the school superintendent, school principal or vice principal. Someone in a supervisory position who is in a decision making capacity that has direct access to the radio. 

10.  I don’t know anything about radios.  What are my choices and how do I determine what is best for my school?

Answer:  All Iowa schools are offered the choice between two types of School Safety Radios.  One is manufactured by Motorola and the other by L3 Harris/RACOM.  The radios have different exterior appearances but offer the same capabilities and features.  The most visible difference is one radio has an emergency button on the radio and another has a detached button separate from the radio.  The radio was specifically designed to be adaptable and/or interface with any local communication platform.  We have provided a picture and manufacturer brochure regarding both the radios.  We encourage the school superintendent or school principal to coordinate with their local Sheriff’s Office, City Police Department, or Emergency Management Coordinator to help with the decision process.

11.  Can I forward the School Safety Radio link/email to my local Sheriff’s Office, City Police Department, Emergency Management Coordinator, or other First Responder Agency and request they fill out the form and make the choice for my school?

Answer:  No, the choice of radio must come from the school.  Those agencies can help, guide, or advise, but the school must decide.  We will not accept any orders listing a School Radio Point of Contact as local law enforcement, Emergency Manager, or other first responder. 

12.  Do I need to reach out to my local county or city law enforcement agency or Emergency Management Coordinator to decide what type of School Safety Radio we should get for our school?

Answer:  No, you are not required to reach out to anyone, but it is strongly encouraged.  Your local law enforcement or Emergency Manager can aid the school in determining many decisions that will need to be made once the radio arrives, such as programming; where, who, and how any emergency calls will be received; training your staff in radio use; best placement of the radio in respects to installation; and what type of maintenance plan you want.  These are decisions the school needs to make after the radio arrives at the local vendor and having assistance with these decisions is recommended.

13.  Who do we call for advice or guidance if I am having trouble getting local assistance in making a decision regarding what type of School Safety Radio we should receive or how it should be programmed?

Answer: If requested, the DPS Communication Interoperability Bureau will assist you. We will explain the local factors that you should consider and help you decide what would be best for your school based on your local emergency communication platform.  If needed, we will advise who you should reach out to locally for assistance and provide names with contact information. If you would like our assistance please call Connie Stufflebeem at the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communication System (ISICS) Network Operation Center at (515) 278-5613, between 0800 and 1630, M-F, or send an email to:  If Connie is unavailable, one of our technicians or engineers will assist you.

14.  How long will it take for the School Safety Radio to arrive once I submit the order to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Communication Bureau?

Answer:  Best estimate is 8 – 12 weeks.  Supply chain delays can also be a factor causing it to take longer.  This will be true for either radio selected.

15.  Are there shipping costs involved if we choose to get a School Safety Radio?

Answer:  Although there are no shipping costs when your School Safety Radio is shipped from the radio manufacturer you choose to the vendor handling the programming, there could be shipping costs incurred by the school once your radio ships from the vendor programming your radio to your local radio shop who you wish to handle the installation. You can arrange to have your radio picked up by a school employee, or other designated person, from the programming vendor and transport it to your local radio shop for installation.  In that case, there would be no shipping costs.  Shipping or pick up arrangements can be made when you are notified your radio arrived at the Iowa vendor.

16.  How will I know the School Safety Radio was shipped?  Who will tell me so I know? 

Answer:  The identified Point of Contact for each school will receive a notification from the Iowa vendor when the School Safety Radio they selected arrives at the manufacturer’s Iowa vendor for radio programming.

17.   How much will the radio cost the school?

Answer:  The schools will not pay any fee for the radio itself; however, once the radio arrives at the vendor, any and all costs after delivery are the responsibility of the school.  See Question #18 for further information.

18.  What expenses will the school have to pick up after the radio arrives at the local vendor?

Answer:  The State of Iowa is only paying for the radio.  After the School Safety Radio is delivered to the vendor by the manufacturer, the school is responsible for all other expenses related to or involving testing & alignment, programming, deployment services/installation, end-user training, maintenance agreements, extended warranty options, external antenna solutions, or any other radio feature enhancements. These expenses and/or options shall be negotiated between the school and the vendor and paid for separately by the school. The radio was designed to be as adaptable and “out of the box ready” as possible to minimize additional costs. According to both vendors, the typical fee for programming, testing and alignment, and installation with indoor antenna is about $500.00.  Non-typical installations requiring external antenna solutions, extra cabling, possible additional shipping fees from the vendor to local radio shop, and complexity of installation can increase the expense. 

19.  How long will it take to get the radio installed in my school?

Answer: That can vary from vendor to vendor.  Factors such as supply chain delays, manpower, unique installation challenges, and vendor workload can come into play. However, the sooner you place your School Safety Radio order you can reduce unnecessary delays.  Remember, all orders must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m., on October 21, 2022.

20.  Will there be training on the radio and who will provide the training?

Answer:  Radio training is recommended.  Using a radio can be intimidating to many people, so training your staff enhances its benefit when needed.  Training is a service that your local vendor can provide but it will come at an expense to the school.  If you coordinate with your local Sheriff’s Office, City Police Department, or Emergency Management Coordinator they may able to provide training to your staff at no cost.

21.  If I had an emergency and I needed to use the School Safety Radio, who will answer when we use it?

Answer:  It is encouraged that you designate your local law enforcement communication center as the primary answering point for all emergency calls.  It is also recommended that you have the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communication System (ISICS) programmed in your radio to serve as the backup to the local primary point of contact. The School Safety Radio is a multiband radio, so it can accommodate multi-system programming.  By having the ISICS Network programmed as the backup system, it will ensure you will always have radio communication either locally or on the statewide network.

22.  If I have problems with the radio after I have it installed, who do I call?

Answer:  The radio manufacturer you select could have an impact on who you should call if you experience problems with your School Safety Radio after installation. Although your local vendor for the product you chose can assist if you elect to pay for a maintenance program, if you select the Motorola School Safety Radio, the DPS Communication Interoperability Bureau can provide an additional level of assistance at no fee because the ISICS Network is free.  Contact the Iowa Statewide Interoperability Communication System Network Operation Center at (515) 278-5613, between 0800 and 1630, M-F, or send an email to, and explain the problem, our staff of communication engineers and technicians will assist, guide, facilitate, or recommend the best course of action to resolve your issue.  Potentially, this can save you costly vendor fees and address any problems or questions quickly and efficiently.  If you select an L3-Harris/RACOM School Safety Radio, you can still contact the ISCIS Network Operation Center and we will attempt to assist you; however, our staff of technicians and engineers are not trained on L3 Harris/RACOM products so we cannot provide the same level of assistance as we can Motorola products.