WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following this morning's announcement that former Denver Mayor and Conference of Mayors President Wellington Webb and New York Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Dowd have been appointed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board of Directors, current Conference of Mayors President and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter said: "America's mayors commend the Obama Administration for making sure that cities and their public safety communications needs will be well represented on the national board responsible for overseeing the planning, development, maintenance and operation of the nationwide wireless public safety communications network."
"By appointing one of our own, former Denver Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayors President Wellington Webb, the Administration has recognized the important contribution which an experienced and successful mayor can bring to the work of this Board," Nutter commented. "Wellington Webb has been a role model for mayors across this country, both for the work he did in Denver and for the national leadership he provided. Of particular importance is his understanding of what it takes to make our cities safe and the many contributions he made to public safety – both in his city and in the nation as a whole. He was a key leader in the Conference's efforts to shape federal policies and programs that reduced crime and violence in our cities."
"The Conference of Mayors has always been committed to making sure that mayors' interests and concerns are well represented in the federal government," commented Conference of Mayors Executive Director and CEO Tom Cochran. "Wellington Webb was a great Mayor of Denver and a great President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. He will be a great member of the FirstNet Board and a great representative of the mayors of this nation." Cochran continued.
"As chair of our task force on crime, Wellington Webb led our efforts with the Clinton Administration to craft the 1994 crime bill and see it enacted into law," Cochran continued. "Among other things, that bill established the COPS Program which continues to provide vital assistance to cities today."
Nutter also praised the appointment Charles Dowd to the Board: "By appointing New York Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Dowd, who serves as Commanding Officer of the Communications Division, the Administration has included on the FirstNet Board one of the nation's foremost experts in first-responder communications. In command of New York City's emergency call center on September 11, 2001, Chief Dowd brings unique perspective from our nation's largest city to the Board."
The 15-member FirstNet Board of Directors was authorized through the public safety broadband communications provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which was signed by the President on February 22, 2012. The law requires that at least three of the board's members represent state and local governments, tribes and territories, and that at least three others have served as public safety professionals. The law focuses on the reallocation of critical spectrum – the so-called D Block of the 700 MHz – to public safety and funding for the development, maintenance and operation of the network.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.