Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Public Safety Communications Interoperability

"As the first to respond to natural disasters, domestic terrorism, and other emergencies, public safety agencies rely on timely communications across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions. It is vital to the safety and effectiveness of first responders that their electronic communications systems enable them to communicate with whomever they need to, when they need to, and when they are authorized to do so."

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to determine the extent to which Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding and technical assistance has helped to improve interoperable communications in selected states. GAO was also asked to determine the progress that has been made in the development and implementation of interoperable communications standards. To address those two objectives, GAO reviewed grant information, documentation of selected states' and localities' interoperability projects, and standards documents.

What the GAO found is available in its April 2007 study titled First Responders - Much Work Remains to Improve Communications Interoperability.

Idaho was not one of the states studied, however some information about what Idaho is doing to work toward interoperability is available on Idaho's Statewide Interoperability Executive Council website.

Why should we care? Well, aside from the improvement in service that interoperabilty should present, communications systems cost a great deal of money to design, install, and maintain. That money comes from taxpayer dollars. And no, it doesn't matter if the money comes from a DHS grant. Federal, state, and local grant dollars are taxpayer dollars. There's no such thing as free money.


Blogger Starr Kelso said...

Shoot Bill, ya done ruined my evening... No free money. dang it anyhow...

7:18 PM, April 06, 2007  
Blogger Bill McCrory said...


Please remember to put a comma between "Shoot" and "Bill", otherwise our City Council members may interpret your comment as a command or at least a permission.

I'm sorry I've ruined your evening, but take heart -- there will be an ambulance racing by at any moment. That's almost as good as free money, right?

8:20 PM, April 06, 2007  
Blogger Starr Kelso said...

Depends on many factors, the most important, from my perspective, is whether I am in it, or about to be hit by it. Also it depends upon what your principles are...and after that comment I think I will leave the comma out.

10:09 PM, April 06, 2007  
Blogger Bill McCrory said...


Remember: I am a former federal employee now feeding from the trough of a federal retirement system. How can you even suggest I have principles? (Stomps off in a huff to see if his retirement check is in the mailbox.)

7:04 AM, April 07, 2007  

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