IACP Press Release - Police Chiefs Applaud President for Supporting Public Safety Interoperability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2011

CONTACT:
Meredith Mays Ward
703-647-7226
Mays@theiacp.org

POLICE CHIEFS APPLAUD PRESIDENT FOR SUPPORTING PUBLIC SAFETY INTEROPERABILITY

President’s plan would create a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety

Alexandria, VA --The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) today applauded President Obama for announcing his strong support for building a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety. The president’s plan would provide law enforcement and other public safety agencies with an additional 10 megahertz of spectrum that is necessary to support a national, interoperable, wireless broadband network that will help them fulfill their mission of protecting lives in communities throughout the United States.

“Having greater interoperability is absolutely essential to public safety,” stated Mark Marshall, IACP President and Chief of the Smithfield, VA, Police Department. “We applaud the president for his commitment to public safety and to ensuring that law enforcement and other first responders have the communications tools they need. We are also grateful to the vice president for his hard work on this issue and continued commitment to the needs of the law enforcement community.”

The president’s plan calls for the development and deployment of a nationwide wireless broadband network to afford public safety agencies with far greater levels of effectiveness and interoperability. According to the White House Statement, “the 9/11 Commission noted that our homeland security is vulnerable, in part, due to the lack of interoperable wireless communication among first responders. The rollout of 4G high speed wireless services provides a unique opportunity to deploy such a system in conjunction with the commercial infrastructure already being developed and deployed.”

The IACP also strongly supports the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act, introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and the Broadband for First Responder’s Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS). These bills would also provide law enforcement and other public safety agencies with an additional 10 megahertz of spectrum that is necessary to support a national, interoperable, wireless broadband network.

The IACP urges Congress and the Administration to act quickly on this critical public safety effort. Law enforcement and public safety must have a minimum of 20 MHz of broadband spectrum to meet current and future needs and must have access to new technologies to perform increasingly complex duties. These technologies must have adequate and dedicated spectrum that is managed and controlled by public safety to ensure that they will be more secure and reliable than commercial systems. The D-Block allocation is essential if we are to meet the critical needs of our nation’s law enforcement and public safety community.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world’s oldest and largest association of law enforcement executives. Founded in 1893, the IACP has more than 20,000 members in over 100 countries.

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The International Association of Chiefs of Police
515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314 www.theiacp.org