Texas Officials Take Steps to Improve Statewide Public Safety Communications

Interoperable Communications Fail One-Third of Time, Studies Show



07 Jan, 2003, 00:00 ET from Public Safety Wireless Network Program

    AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Government and public safety
 officials from across Texas will meet today in Austin to address a key
 homeland security issue -- the ability of public safety responders to
 communicate by radio, also known as communications "interoperability."
 Studies show that across the Nation, public safety officials have trouble
 talking to one another in operational situations one-third of the time.  The
 conference is jointly sponsored by the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN)
 Program and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
     "State officials cannot afford to let this issue languish at the expense
 of its public safety responders, and ultimately, the citizens of Texas," said
 Robert E. Lee, Jr., PSWN Program Manager, Department of Justice.  "Lack of
 interoperability is a problem that can and must be corrected-through
 additional and continued cooperation, the support of state lawmakers, and the
 allocation of resources."
     The State of Texas is currently working to improve its public safety
 communications capabilities.  The size of the state, number of independent
 jurisdictions, and operational requirements provide many radio communications
 challenges.  The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified several
 short-term issues that must be addressed:
 
     - Improving interoperability with federal agencies (e.g., Drug Enforcement
       Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S.
       Border Patrol)
 
     - Educating state agencies about systems management and state funding
       requests
 
     - Eliminating interference with public safety wireless networks caused by
       transmitters operating in Mexico.
 
 "Thanks in part to the efforts of the PSWN Program, we will soon have a solid
 foundation to move forward and achieve success," said Texas Attorney General
 Greg Abbott, keynote speaker for the conference.  "This conference allows us
 to move into the next stage of development by providing a forum for public
 safety and government officials-at local, state, and federal levels-to join
 together to discuss strategies and solutions for improving public safety
 communications in Texas."
     The PSWN Program is assisting the State of Texas in a strategic planning
 process that Texas can use to direct its short- and long-term efforts
 concerning interoperability.  The PSWN Program is also helping the state
 conduct an analysis of interoperability along Interstate 35-a major
 transportation corridor in the state where communications across local, state,
 and federal agencies is a necessity.
     The conference will include panels addressing the current state of public
 safety interoperability in Texas.  The conference has wide stakeholder support
 and is being held in cooperation with --
 
     - Texas Department of Public Safety
     - Office of the Attorney General
     - Sheriffs' Association of Texas
     - Texas State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association
     - Texas State Fire Chiefs Association
     - Texas Police Chiefs Association
     - North Central Texas Council of Governments
 
     The PSWN Program is a joint initiative of the Department of Justice and
 the Department of the Treasury.  The PSWN Program's effort in Texas is just
 one of the many assistance projects it has undertaken across the country in
 support of its mission: to plan for and foster interoperability among local,
 state, federal, and tribal public safety wireless networks, so that no life is
 lost because public safety responders cannot communicate with one another.
 For more information, visit the PSWN Program Web site at http://www.pswn.gov .
 
 

SOURCE Public Safety Wireless Network Program
    AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Government and public safety
 officials from across Texas will meet today in Austin to address a key
 homeland security issue -- the ability of public safety responders to
 communicate by radio, also known as communications "interoperability."
 Studies show that across the Nation, public safety officials have trouble
 talking to one another in operational situations one-third of the time.  The
 conference is jointly sponsored by the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN)
 Program and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
     "State officials cannot afford to let this issue languish at the expense
 of its public safety responders, and ultimately, the citizens of Texas," said
 Robert E. Lee, Jr., PSWN Program Manager, Department of Justice.  "Lack of
 interoperability is a problem that can and must be corrected-through
 additional and continued cooperation, the support of state lawmakers, and the
 allocation of resources."
     The State of Texas is currently working to improve its public safety
 communications capabilities.  The size of the state, number of independent
 jurisdictions, and operational requirements provide many radio communications
 challenges.  The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified several
 short-term issues that must be addressed:
 
     - Improving interoperability with federal agencies (e.g., Drug Enforcement
       Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Customs Service, and U.S.
       Border Patrol)
 
     - Educating state agencies about systems management and state funding
       requests
 
     - Eliminating interference with public safety wireless networks caused by
       transmitters operating in Mexico.
 
 "Thanks in part to the efforts of the PSWN Program, we will soon have a solid
 foundation to move forward and achieve success," said Texas Attorney General
 Greg Abbott, keynote speaker for the conference.  "This conference allows us
 to move into the next stage of development by providing a forum for public
 safety and government officials-at local, state, and federal levels-to join
 together to discuss strategies and solutions for improving public safety
 communications in Texas."
     The PSWN Program is assisting the State of Texas in a strategic planning
 process that Texas can use to direct its short- and long-term efforts
 concerning interoperability.  The PSWN Program is also helping the state
 conduct an analysis of interoperability along Interstate 35-a major
 transportation corridor in the state where communications across local, state,
 and federal agencies is a necessity.
     The conference will include panels addressing the current state of public
 safety interoperability in Texas.  The conference has wide stakeholder support
 and is being held in cooperation with --
 
     - Texas Department of Public Safety
     - Office of the Attorney General
     - Sheriffs' Association of Texas
     - Texas State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association
     - Texas State Fire Chiefs Association
     - Texas Police Chiefs Association
     - North Central Texas Council of Governments
 
     The PSWN Program is a joint initiative of the Department of Justice and
 the Department of the Treasury.  The PSWN Program's effort in Texas is just
 one of the many assistance projects it has undertaken across the country in
 support of its mission: to plan for and foster interoperability among local,
 state, federal, and tribal public safety wireless networks, so that no life is
 lost because public safety responders cannot communicate with one another.
 For more information, visit the PSWN Program Web site at http://www.pswn.gov .
 
 SOURCE  Public Safety Wireless Network Program