Yesterday DHS released a major report on the state of interoperable communications, giving scores to 75 urban/metropolitan areas on their current capabilities. You can download the full report here, and this webpage summarizes the scores in each area. This AP story summarizes some of the findings in the report:
The report found that while emergency agencies in more than 60 percent of the communities studied had the ability to talk to each other during a crisis, only 21 percent overall showed â€œthe seamless useâ€ of equipment needed to also communicate with state and federal officials.
The report’s highest ratings went to the Washington, D.C., area; San Diego; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Columbus, Ohio; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Laramie County, Wyo.
The lowest scores went to Chicago; Cleveland; Baton Rouge, La.; Mandan, N.D.; and American Samoa. The report includes large and small cities and their suburbs, along with U.S. territories.
The report led members of the House Homeland Security Committee to argue yesterday in favor of a dedicated grant program for emergency communications, instead of providing this funding within broader homeland security grant programs. This issue is expected to arise in the 9/11 Commission recommendations legislation that will be brought to the House floor next Tuesday.