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 For Immediate Release
December 4, 2006

CONTACT: Gilbert L. Moore
(202) 616-1728

COPS OFFICE OFFERS NEW GUIDE TO HELP EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDERS ACHIEVE COMMUNICATIONS INTEROPERABILITY

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has released a new technical assistance guide intended to assist law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service, and other first response agencies with developing interoperable communications systems. The Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Communications Interoperability: A Guide for Interagency Projects provides background information, strategies, best practices, and recommendations for public safety radio projects, as well as insight into changes in operating policies that typically accompany the development of interoperable communications systems.

Throughout the country, many emergency response agencies representing various disciplines and jurisdictions within a given region do not have the ability to directly share critical information with other emergency service providers in real-time due to incompatible communications systems and the absence of operating policies that support such communication. Recently, a growing number of emergency service agencies and public officials have come to recognize the need for interoperable communication networks, and this new Guide has been created to help lead them through the process of establishing the networks and addressing the many coordination and liability issues associated with interoperable systems.

"This Guide is a much needed resource because emergencies do not limit themselves to jurisdictional boundaries," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "When an incident occurs, first responders from different counties, cities, and towns must be able to quickly and accurately coordinate all available resources. The ability to communicate and share information in real-time is crucial to the safety of our communities."

Law Enforcement Tech Guide for Communications Interoperability: A Guide for Interagency Projects can be downloaded from COPS website or ordered from the COPS Response Center at 800-421-6770.

The Guide is one of the many technical assistance and grant resources that COPS offers in support of enhanced community policing and public safety. In addition to the Guide, COPS has also awarded more than $246 million in funding to help 65 metropolitan regions throughout the country to establish interoperable communication systems.

 

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