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Car 54: Where Are You?

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This article describes a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study that surveyed 2,800 law enforcement agencies concerning interoperability.

The study, run through NIJ’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC), examined current communications capabilities of the agencies, their interoperability capacities, and how they have overcome interoperability challenges. Summary results are presented that indicate the three most salient communications challenges facing agencies are “dead spots” where no radio transmission is available, outdated equipment, and channel congestion. Other findings suggest that the use of mobile computers and the transmission of data will double in the next 2 years and within 5 years the frequency of cellular phone use and the use of global positioning systems will increase markedly. In terms of interoperability issues, many local agencies reported cobbling together their own solutions that enable them to communicate with surrounding local agencies. Local agencies rarely, however, communicated with State or Federal agencies. Published in 1998, the study is expected to be a tool for agencies seeking to push forward with interoperability plans. Contact information is provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1998