Denver Post Reports: Colorado Police Use of Social Media to Deliver News Raises Transparency Concerns

It opens with a warning: This video contains footage from real police body cameras. Viewer discretion is advised. Then, an introduction: “I would like you to hear from me, what happened,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock says, facing the camera. The next eight minutes provide a carefully edited glimpse of the events that led to a 29-year-old deputy’s Dec. 31 death inside an apartment complex south of Denver. ….

There’s nothing wrong with police communicating through social media, open government advocates said. But they worry it allows law enforcement to bypass questions from traditional media and warn that taking advantage of the tools requires agencies to be completely transparent, whatever the situation. Read article here:


Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 15, 2018

Public Safety Advocate: T-Band, IWCE, FirstNet

T-Band Call to Action: The T-Band (470-512 MHz) is spectrum used by both the public safety community and business users in 11 metro areas of the United States. When the bill creating FirstNet was passed in 2012, Congress required public safety to “give back” some spectrum in exchange for the 10 MHz of spectrum then known as the D-block adjacent to the 700-MHz spectrum that had been reallocated from wideband (50-KHz) channels. This was to enable public safety to deploy its own nationwide public safety broadband network. Congress decided the T-band would be a perfect giveback since it would be auctioned, once returned, for millions of dollars. Since the bill was passed, the major cities and surrounding areas that make use of this spectrum have been unable to find either the spectrum or the funding to relocate, in a timely fashion, their many radio networks that call this spectrum home. See the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) T-Band report…

IWCE 2018: For the first time in a very long time, IWCE was not held in Las Vegas, but Orlando, which is also a great convention city. However, when you weigh in spring break visitors and flights in and out of the area it can be tricky to plan what you want, and even the TSA pre-check lanes were experiencing long delays processing travelers. Even so, the conference itself was top notch. Perhaps it was because this was the first full IWCE after FirstNet the Authority awarded the contract to AT&T. The mood was upbeat, the sessions I attended and those I was part of all had good crowds, and this year it seems many more people were asking questions after the panels and/or offering up their advice. I always enjoy it when those in the audience ask questions so we can learn about their concerns…

FirstNet:  FirstNet was an even more integral part of IWCE this year. There were keynotes, sessions, and more directly related to FirstNet. It was announced at IWCE that FirstNet, the Authority, had given a task order to FirstNet built with AT&T to start the band 14 (FirstNet) spectrum build-out. Task orders for various aspects of the network build-out, operation, training, and more are released by FirstNet the Authority based on milestones reached by FirstNet. So far, FirstNet is running well ahead of what anyone would have guessed because AT&T included not only band 14 but all of its own LTE and upcoming 5G spectrum and deployments… Read the Entire Post Here

MissionCritical Mar  9 10:13

AT&T signed a new task order with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) for building out 700 MHz band 14 in all 56 states and territories. AT&T executives said the carrier has already begun buildout in most states, but the new task order formalizes the next step in AT&T’s year-old agreement with FirstNet to build a nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN). read more

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FirstNet to Update Committee Charters

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board tomorrow is scheduled to approve updates to its bylaws and charters for its four committees. Board members also plan to approve a resolution honoring Tom Sorley, the former chair of the Public Safety Advisory Committee who died recently (TR Daily, Feb. 5), with the Harlin R. McEwen Award.

The joint meeting of the board and its committees is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon central time. The meeting is being held in Little Rock, Ark. Meanwhile, Rep. Ryan Costello (R., Pa.) issued a statement saying he was pleased that Chester County is the first county in his state to subscribe to FirstNet. “Chester County has taken an important step forward in ensuring ubiquitous wireless service between emergency services and law enforcement officials, and across state lines during public safety disasters,” he said.

Courtesy TRDaily

NPR Reports: Medical Cargo Could Be The Gateway For Routine Drone Deliveries

One shred of solace that surfaced as hurricanes and tropical storms pummeled Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico last fall was the opportunity to see drones realize some of their life-saving potential.

During those disasters unmanned aircraft surveyed wrecked roads, bridges and rail lines. They spotted oil and gas leaks. They inspected damaged cell towers that had left thousands unable to call for help. “Drones became a literal lifeline,” former Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta told the agency’s drone advisory committee in November.

The drones used needed a special exemption from a set of FAA rules, known as Part 107, that normally require small drones to fly below 400 feet, stay within the operator’s visual line of sight and avoid populated areas.

These regulations make it hard for commercial drones to operate in the United States. But last October the Department of Transportation took a big step: It invited state and local governments to partner with universities and companies on tests to speed the integration of drones into the national airspace. The FAA is reviewing 149 proposals and plans to choose five to 10 by mid-May.

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FCC Rejects 800 MHz Band Election Rescission Request

The Policy and Licensing Division of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released an order in WT docket 02-55 today denying a request by License Acquisitions, Inc., to rescind the election by the predecessor licensee to relocate to the enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR) portion of the 800 megahertz band as part of the realignment of the spectrum. The division said it treated the request like a waiver and said the company had not met the burden to be granted a waiver.

FCC Urged to Provide More Guidance on 911 Fee Diversion

The FCC should provide further guidance of what constitutes 911 fee diversion by states, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International and CTIA said in comments filed in response to a report that concluded that six states in 2016 diverted 911 fees for other purposes (TR Daily, Feb. 7).

The report by the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau said that the total amount diverted by reporting jurisdictions was $128.9 million, or about 5% of the total collected in 911/enhanced 911 fees. The report, the ninth annual document to Congress on fee diversions, said that the following states diverted 911 fees for other purposes: New Jersey, West Virginia, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and New York. New York was the only one of the six diverting states that did not submit a report to the FCC for the report. But the Commission said that “sufficient public record information exists to support a finding that New York diverted funds for non-public safety uses.”

In its comments in PS docket 09-14, APCO urged the FCC to define NG-911 for its information collection and provide more guidance on diversions. Continue reading