Gauging Our Nation's Defenses

There is still a huge stumbling block when it comes to first responders being able to communicate with each other.

There is still a huge stumbling block when it comes to first responders being able to communicate with each other. This inability of police, fire-fighters and paramedics to talk to each other was a huge impediment to assessing the scope of the attack and rendering assistance to those who needed it. The 9/11 Commission recommended part of the radio spectrum be dedicated for public safety purposes. According to the National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG), “To date, this recommendation continues to languish. Despite the lives at stake, the recommendation to improve radio interoperability for first responders has stalled because of a political fight over whether to allocate 10 MHz of radio spectrum—the D-block—directly to public safety for a nationwide network, or auction it off to a commercial wireless bidder who would then be required to provide priority access on its network dedicated to public safety during emergencies.” Bottom line: emergency personnel are still unable to talk to each other in catastrophic situations.

The TSA was established to ensure the safety of all airline passengers. Screening at airports has been less than adequate, with most tests involving firearms and explosive materials undetected. Ineffective scanners, and intrusive pat downs on babies and disabled individuals, have riled and frustrated the flying public to the extent that many citizens have no confidence in TSA whatsoever. According to the NSPG, “Unfortunately, explosives detection technology lacks reliability and lags in its capability to automatically identify concealed weapons and explosives. The next generation of whole-body-scanning-machines is also not effective at detecting explosives hidden within the body and raise privacy and health concerns that DHS has not fully addressed.”

So, are we better off than we were ten years ago? In my view we have made improvements, yet we are still much too vulnerable. I see two chronic problems. First, too many agencies doing the same thing, and, second, too many bureaucrats in charge of people doing police work. When Congress oversees any agency and controls its people and budgets, there will rarely be progress on any front. Add to the mix the political correctness that characterizes Congress and all of its cronies and sycophants and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

The good news: most cops will still get the job done despite the interference of bosses and overseers who haven’t a clue. That’s what keeps us safe and will continue to be our ace in the hole.

Stay safe, Brothers and Sisters!


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About The Author:

John M. Wills spent 33 years in law enforcement as a Chicago Police Officer and FBI Special Agent (Ret). He is a Freelance Writer and Speaker whose third book, TARGETED, is now available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Contact John through his website:


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