Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued a statement following the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announcement that it would be halting funding of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) and giving LA-RICS until April 13 to submit an amended project plan that is acceptable to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles City Council and NTIA.
“The news today out of Washington, DC that the NTIA is suspending funding of the LA-RICS is disappointing and frustrating. Living in a region that is susceptible to wildfires, earthquakes and other disasters, residents throughout all 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County are at risk. Our first responders must have the tools and equipment necessary to protect lives, most importantly, the ability to communicate quickly and reliably in the event of disaster. Recently, disingenuous rhetoric about the project was put out to scare residents into believing that this communications network could cause more harm than good. There have been two concerns voiced: safety and the locations of the cell towers. I believe that the scientific evidence is clear: the LA-RICS towers do not pose a health hazard to the public. We now have 10 days to formulate a new plan of action to make this interoperable communication network a reality. Whether we have to reconfigure where we place the towers or refresh our outreach to communities, as the largest county in the nation, it is important that Los Angeles County be the first to make this project operational.”