Communications Division

The Communications Division is designated to install, service, and support all land mobile and microwave radio systems, wireline and wireless telephone systems, mobile computing resources, in-car speed enforcement, emergency and camera equipment that provide troopers, special agents, management, support staff, and Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) users with the tools necessary to perform their duties as employees of the Virginia Department of State Police and other agencies throughout the Commonwealth. The Communications Division is the hub of statewide public safety communications, and the Network Operations Center and Master Sites are tasked with monitoring the health of the system.

Division Commander:
Captain Thomas A. Bradshaw

Phone: (804) 674-2176
Fax: (804) 674-2974
Email:
comm@vsp.virginia.gov

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 27472
Richmond, VA 23261
Attn: Communications Division

Physical Address:

Administrative Headquarters
7700 Midlothian Turnpike
North Chesterfield, VA 23235

The Communications Division is designated to install, service, and support all land mobile and microwave radio systems, wireline and wireless telephone systems, mobile computing resources, in-car speed enforcement, emergency and camera equipment that provide troopers, special agents, management, support staff, and Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) users with the tools necessary to perform their duties as employees of the Virginia Department of State Police and other agencies throughout the Commonwealth. The Communications Division is the hub of statewide public safety communications, and the Network Operations Center and Master Sites are tasked with monitoring the health of the system.

VSP SUV and Airforce One

Communications Division Sections

Voice and Data Traffic Flow

Flow of Voice & Data Message Traffic Step 1: User initiates a voice or data message. Step 2: Message is received at the nearest tower site and routed to the appropriate Zone Master Site through tower sites within the network. Step 3: The Zone Master Site processes and routes the message to the intended recipient. Step 4: The message leaves the Zone Master Site and continues on to the intended recipient. Step 5: Message is received by the intended recipient. Step 6: Other users on the same channel are able to hear the message and any other traffic.

The STARS Network Operations Center (NOC)

The STARS Network Operations Center (NOC) is staffed around the clock to monitor the health of the network.

NOC Operators take calls from users/subscribers from the 22 STARS agencies to open work tickets for repairs, receive network alarms and prioritize them for field technicians, and handle VCIN and Livescan issues from local, state, and federal agencies.

NOC Operators have real-time visibility into all facets of network performance and activity.

STARS Master Sites

The Master Site Engineers audit the STARS network servers and databases to ensure optimal efficiency. They work from the two main Sites: Western and Central Virginia. They are available around the clock clock to provide technical assistance and maintain the network. Additionally, they perform audits, ensure compliance with FCC standards, and evaluate and test all new hardware and software.

More information about STARS >>>

Radio/Radar Shops

Communications Technicians assigned to radio shops in all seven divisions as well as Virginia State Police Headquarters provide maintenance of all public safety communications equipment for the State Police and the 21 other STARS agencies. Equipment includes but is not limited to: radio transmitter sites, boats, speed detection devices, mobile and portable radios, mobile data terminals, and in-car video systems. Communications Technicians are also responsible for verifying the operational readiness of the electronic equipment in all newly outfitted vehicles.

To accommodate the varying schedules of the Department’s sworn members and other subscribers/users, our dedicated field technicians will often make house calls to fix issues while sworn personnel are off duty.

Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)/Mobile Support Unit


The CAD/Mobile Support group is responsible for the hardware and software support of CAD servers and workstations in the Department’s seven dispatch centers. This includes support for dispatching from Mobile Command Posts, emergency centers, and special event sites and requires a wide spectrum of skills including networking, database management, and programming along with hardware imaging, installations, and troubleshooting.

The CAD & Mobile Support Unit is also responsible for all the hardware and software needed for mobile computing by the Troopers and other agency law enforcement officers and includes laptops, tablets, printers, scanners, and ruggedized handheld equipment. The Unit also handles the deployment of laptops and equipment to all VSP staff during emergency events. 

Asset Management Team

The Asset Management Team serves as the designated administrator for the Property Management System and oversees thousands of assets assigned to numerous multimillion-dollar projects. The team’s responsibilities involve asset tagging public safety electronic equipment utilized by the Communications Division, in-car radio equipment used by User Agency Requirements Committee (UARC) personnel, and the decommissioning and surplusing of assets that have reached the end of their life cycle.

The Asset Management Team works with designated User Agency Requirements Committee (UARC) representatives to conduct subscriber audits of issued STARS radio equipment. The team also maintains, verifies, and approves installation requests according to the agency’s approved STARS equipment allocation.

The Asset Management Team performs UAT (User Acceptance Testing) for the property management system, requests new enhancements, and verifies the usability of the property management system. The team also provides technical assistance to all property management system users.

Mobile Device Team

Phones and Tablets

The Mobile Device Team manages the Department’s cellular phones, tablets, and MiFi devices by completing work orders for procurement of new and upgraded devices, service disconnects, and any additional feature requests that may come in on a daily basis. The Team also conducts research on new technology and performs cost analysis of legislation to assist with procurement of replacement equipment and annual budget requirements.

The Mobile Device Team provides customer service support to both sworn and civilian personnel of the Department. They are the Department’s liaison to Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) for mobile device administration as well as the main point of contact for the various wireless device carriers contracted by the Commonwealth.

Tower & Generator Shops

The tower and generator technicians serve statewide to keep agency communications operational. They make up two tower crews–one in Richmond the other in Salem–who maintain and inspect all antenna structures annually, install land mobile and microwave antennas, maintain and repair all emergency generators in support of continued operations during power outages, and maintain and repair tower lighting systems. The Tower Crews operate year round in all types of weather.

Installation Facility

The Installation Facility is responsible for taking a “barebones” vehicle from the manufacturer and building an operational and highly specialized public safety vehicle, by installing emergency lighting and various communications equipment. They research, identify, and implement the latest public safety communications and associated accessories, such as: in-car cameras, push bumpers, and emergency lighting. When needed, they are able to fabricate mountings for unique equipment installations in specialty vehicles such as motorcycles, command posts, covert vehicles, and boats.

Fleet Services Garage

The Fleet Services Garage handles the quality control and routine maintenance for each vehicle that enters the facility. They not only receive vehicles from across the Department, but also from a wide range of car dealerships and other state agencies.

The Fleet Services Garage ensures each vehicle received is properly equipped, washed and detailed and is fully functioning before issue to assigned users throughout the Commonwealth. The Fleet Services Garage conducts vehicle speed calibrations, decommissions vehicles that have reached end of service life, and prepares vehicles that have been damaged beyond repair for surplus.

An employee checks a state police car raised on a lift.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact if I need information on something not pertaining to the Communications Division?
  • For all non-Communications Division related questions, please call (804) 674-2000 and follow the prompts.
  • For general Communications Division questions, please email comm@vsp.virginia.gov.
To reach the Virginia State Police from my cell phone, what number do I dial?
  • Dial #77 from a cell phone to reach the Virginia State Police directly.
  • For emergencies dial 911 to reach local law enforcement closest to your location.
How do vendors register to conduct business with the Department?

Any vendor seeking to do business with a Virginia state agency must register with eVA.

Can the public purchase surplus police vehicles?
  • No. Surplus vehicles are only available to State and Local Law Enforcement agencies for purchase. Agencies interested in finding out more information should contact the Fleet Manager at (804) 674-2156.
  • Auctioned vehicles are handled by an auction company, and sold only to licensed dealers.
How do I find employment opportunities with the Communications Division?
  • There are several vacant employment opportunities in the Radio/Radar shops throughout the Commonwealth as well as in the Installation/Fleet Garages located at Virginia State Police Headquarters in Richmond.
  • We are looking for individuals with a background in the installation and repair of communications and electronic equipment such as radar, analog and digital electronics, radios, and computers and peripheral equipment, as well as individuals with experience in the installation or decommissioning of equipment in police vehicles, fleet services, towing, and vehicle maintenance.
  • All current civilian employment opportunities are posted on the Department’s employment opportunities page.
How do I submit a FOIA Request?

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the Virginia State Police may be submitted by the public using the web based public records portal.

What does STARS stand for and how do I learn more about it?
  • STARS stands for Statewide Agencies Radio System.
  • To learn more, visit the STARS Program page.