- People in Midwest City, Oklahoma, remember the night of May 3, 1999, the tornado had wind speeds of 302 mph, often cited as the highest wind speeds ever recorded on Earth. The need for close coordination with better interagency communications between police and public works was a top priority when the Midwest City Police Department considered a new radio system. Public works plays a major role n supporting the police department’s emergency response and recovery. In most residential situations, public works must be first on the scene to take care of gas, electrical, clears roadways, assist with traffic control, move vital equipment and supplies where they are needed. This critical cleanup work must be done quickly, so police and fire personnel can respond to life safety issues. This critical role in emergency response is why Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 of 2003 included public works as “first responders” – Scott Walsh
- We need to do everything we can during an emergency to make sure communications is not the barrier to getting things done says Scott Walsh.
- When the police department needed new radios to replace aging equipment, multiple manufacturers submitted bids. “We let the police department try out the radios to make a decision” Walsh says. After a brief trial period, Walsh says the officers didn’t want to give up the KENWOOD radios. “Police officers were in my office telling me, “This is what we have to have. This KENWOOD radio is the best one we’ve used, and we do not want anything else- he says.
Missions Critical Communications Magazine