Preparedness Policy and Guidance

Require interoperable radio policies

Require agencies that have access to interoperable radio systems to include their use in their written policies.

I work as a police/fire dispatcher for a local agency in Colorado. I'm a big fan of our radio system. The mutual aid channels are set up well and easy to understand. Working in the Denver metro area, I have the ability to communicate with any agency in the state.

The big problem is that we have the technology, but we don't use it. While the fire department makes use of mutual aid and other agencies channels when participating in a mutual aid event, our police department doesn't. I don't think my agency is alone in this.

Law enforcement officials need to train with their radios AT LEAST as much as they train with their firearms.


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  1. Comment
    David Salmon

    I have observed exactly what you are referring too. Monies spent on inoperbility have largely been a waste so far and even broader, more expensive systems are still in the works. Please read my plan for weather ICS and see if you don't think it might help cut through that mind-set.

  2. Comment
    Scott Paltall ( Idea Submitter )

    Yeah getting funding for cool, new technologies is sexy and cutting edge. Unfortunately, training people how to use the new technology isn't nearly as sexy or cutting edge, but it needs to be done. Thanks!

  3. Comment
    Mark Chubb

    Communication breakdowns during crises more often result from cultural rather than technological impediments. Most interoperable communications plans provide poor solutions to these problems because more often than not the spectrum and talk-group allocations simply reinforce pre-existing administrative and cultural silos within and among agencies.