10/29/2011

Editorial: First responders need dedicated spectrum

One critical tool continues to elude us: a nationwide interoperable communications network for our first responders

By Govs. Martin O'Malley and Matt Mead
Roll Call

WASHINGTON — Ten years ago, the way federal, state and local leaders view public safety was changed forever. Last month, we remembered and reflected on that tragic day, and although the safety and security of our country has always been a priority, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, put homeland security at the forefront of our minds and committed us to being better prepared to prevent, respond to and recover from attacks and disasters.

The results of that commitment are evident. We have reorganized state agencies to address natural and man-made threats, encouraged citizens and communities to be prepared for the unthinkable, and developed intelligence fusion centers and emergency operations centers to share critical information across multiple jurisdictions. Governors also reached a historic agreement with the Department of Defense to ensure the coordination of state and federal military forces during a disaster.

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