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Keeping Their Memory Safe

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2005
3 pages
This article describes the planning, implementation, and lessons learned in ensuring that the agencies responsible for security at the World War II Memorial dedication on Memorial Day weekend 2004 were able to communicate with one another.
The U.S. Park Police (USPP) coordinated security for the event, which involved more than 30 law enforcement agencies and 600 officers. The USPP asked Captain Eddie Reyes of the Alexandria Police Department (a Washington suburb) to develop a means for agencies with disparate radio systems to communicate with one another ("interoperability") during the event. Reyes provides technical assistance for the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) CommTech (formerly AGILE) program. CommTech identifies, adopts, and develops interoperability solutions that include open architecture standards for voice, data, image, and video communication systems. To assist in the project, Reyes called on NIJ's National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-Northeast (NLECTC-Northeast) in Rome, NY. Reyes and NLECTC-Northeast staff drafted a letter to all agencies participating in the Memorial Day dedication, requesting information on their radio systems and interoperability capabilities. Agencies' replies became the basis for determining interfaces, an interoperability layout, and needed equipment. Three interoperability strategies were incorporated into the plan to enable emergency communications during the dedication: the distribution of loaner radios from the National Capital Region law enforcement agencies; the use of existing interoperability systems of law enforcement agencies in the National Capital Region; and the establishment of interconnect switches. Interoperability plans went well during the event despite one glitch. Although participating agencies were told what radio channel to use, there was no roll-call check to ensure they were using it.

Date Published: January 1, 2005