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NCJ Number: NCJ 214331     Find in a Library
Title: Public Safety Communications and Interoperability
  Document URL: PDF 
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: 05/2007
Page Count: 2
  Annotation: This brief examines the challenges faced by public safety agencies trying to integrate communication systems.
Abstract: Challenges to achieving interoperability include incompatible radio equipment, lack of a common language, and the use of different frequency bands by different agencies. Radio technologies that promote interoperability include simplex or line-of-sight systems and conventional and trunked radio repeater systems. To promote interoperability, agencies should: optimize their internal communications systems; agree on basic requirements, set realistic goals, and collaborate to achieve a common goal; and use low-cost solutions, such as preprogrammed radios, shared radio frequencies, and plain language (instead of agency-specific coded language). When choosing a system for a public safety agency, radio system planners need to conduct comparative analyses to determine which type of system is most appropriate for the environment and requirements imposed by their mission and operations. Important tips to improving interoperability include: make sure your agency’s communications systems work smoothly before attempting to be interoperable with another communications system; sharpen your collaborative working relationships with other agencies before embarking on interoperability solutions; get agreement from all stakeholders on a set of basic requirements and acknowledge that all systems need to be maintained, upgraded, and eventually replaced; set realistic goals that fit the resources available, and provide an achievable level of interoperability. Three low-cost interoperability solutions include: preprogram all mobile and portable radios with national interoperability channels and frequencies (found at, a step that usually requires no additional infrastructure; share radio frequencies with neighbors on compatible radio system; and adopt plain language communications for day-to-day transmissions. 2 notes
Main Term(s): Public safety coordination
Index Term(s): Emergency communications ; Communication channel allocations ; Communications ; Communication techniques ; Services integration
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: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: NIJ In Short: Towards Criminal Justice Solutions, May 2007
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