Louisiana governor creates interoperability committee

Louisiana’s governor has formed an executive committee that comprises state and local officials to oversee establishment of a modern statewide interoperable and reliable communications system for emergency response.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco issued an executive order last week forming the 27-member committee. The new executive order supersedes a similar one issued in early February that created an interoperability committee, but with only 10 representatives from various agencies. Nevertheless, the committee was formed to:

  • Design, build and manage a statewide system that can transmit voice, data and imagery.
  • Develop and approve the system’s design, testing and implementation plan.
  • Create policies and obtain funds for operation, administration and maintenance of the system.
  • Establish policies to acquire, allocate and manage resources and future use of the system’s capabilities.
  • Establish policies regarding who can use the system.

According to the executive order, the committee will form subcommittees and workgroups to address various related issues and will also be required to submit a report annually to the governor showing its progress.

The Louisiana State Police currently operates a 10-year-old statewide 800 MHz analog wireless system, which 70 agencies and 10,000 people use for voice communication.

Although Hurricane Katrina hindered the ability of emergency responders to communicate on the state system last fall, state officials began the process to develop a modern interoperable communications system in early 2004.

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