The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International today released a statement blasting a story in the September issue of “The Atlantic” that criticized the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and its effort to build a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network, one day after four public safety leaders criticized the article (TRDaily, Aug. 10)
“APCO does not usually react to hyperbolic and inaccurate pieces of media that are clearly aimed at inciting a response, as opposed to educating readers or contributing to legitimate discourse,” said APCO Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Derek Poarch. “However, in the case of the article entitled ‘The $47 Billion Network That’s Already Obsolete’ appearing in the September 2016 issue of The Atlantic by Steven Brill, we must come to the defense of FirstNet’s high-quality and devoted leadership and staff, and all of the thousands in the public safety community that have worked so hard to support FirstNet.
“As the world’s largest association of public safety communications professionals, we take issue with Mr. Brill’s inflammatory claims,” Mr. Poarch added. “Mr. Brill and The Atlantic are at best misinformed about public safety communications matters. They have done a disservice to the citizens of our country, our brave first responders, and public safety communications professionals across the country by publishing an article that is more about attention-gathering than fact-based journalism. The truth is that FirstNet has made enormous strides undertaking a project unique in the world and of the highest importance to public safety and emergency response.” —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org