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NCJ Number: NCJ 168945     Find in a Library
Title: Wireless Communications and Interoperability Among State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, Research in Brief
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): M J Taylor ; R C Epper ; T K Tolman
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 12
  Series: NIJ Research in Brief
  Annotation: Recognizing that routine police work requires effective coordination and communication with other police agencies, fire departments, and emergency medical services, this 1997 survey collected data from State and local law enforcement agencies nationwide on their current and planned use of communications equipment and services and their experiences with interoperability.
Abstract: Starting in February 1997, 10-page questionnaires were mailed to all agencies that employed more than 100 sworn officers and to a stratified random sample of smaller agencies across the country. By the end of the data collection phase in July 1997, 1,334 agencies had responded, for an overall response rate of 48 percent. Findings revealed interoperability was common, with 82 percent of agencies having at least one channel dedicated solely for use with other organizations. Most agencies were confident of their ability to handle routine situations, but many agencies experienced serious obstacles, particularly when trying to communicate with agencies beyond their local network or when operating in different frequency bands. Limitations in funding and frequency incompatibility were the biggest interoperability problems. About 35 percent of agencies thought Federal or State mandates were needed to ensure interoperability, but most agencies believed local planning best met their needs. Discrepancies in State and local perceptions about the existence of formal State interoperability plans suggested a need for more dialogue between State and local agencies. Most agencies had conventional analog systems and operated in high VHF bands. Most of the radio spectrum was used for voice transmissions, although the number of agencies devoting channels to data only transmissions was increasing. Dead spots and outdated equipment were the most common problems with radio systems. More than half the agencies that complained about outdated equipment (older than 10 years) planned to replace or upgrade their radio systems. Channel congestion, a serious problem for almost half the agencies, was much less of a problem for agencies with trunked systems. The use of voice and data security measures was increasing in all agencies. 10 notes and 9 exhibits
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Emergency communications ; Police radio frequencies ; Police telecommunications systems ; Police equipment ; Telecommunications equipment ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
United States of America
Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-004
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: National Institute of Justice Research in Brief
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