Only 9 Urban Areas Were Graded Higher in Cooperation among ‘First Responders’
(Little Rock, AR – January 5, 2007) The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released the “Tactical Interoperable Communications Scorecards Summary Report and Findings.” The Little Rock Metropolitan Area received very high marks on the National Scorecard. Out of the 75-metropolitan/urban areas that were graded, only nine (9) received a higher overall grade than Little Rock.
Upon hearing the news, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola responded, “This recognition is a tribute to the commitment and leadership of the hard working men and women involved in the public safety system throughout the Little Rock region.”
The scorecards were developed to assess the maturity of tactical interoperable communications in 75 metropolitan/urban areas across the country. DHS is using these scorecards to focus technical assistance programs and target specific areas of improvement in communications interoperability among first responders. The scorecard evaluation specifically focuses on Governance, Standard Operating Procedures, and Usage.
On September 27, 2006, the City of Little Rock hosted a federally mandated and evaluated Department of Homeland Security Exercise. This exercise was the fundamental element in the scorecard grading. The exercise was designed to test first responders’ abilities to communicate with each other across jurisdictional boundaries during times of major emergencies or disaster.
“This is good news for Little Rock,” added City Director Michael Keck. “Our citizens should be very proud of the way the various first-responders work together to respond in a time of crisis.” Director Keck continued, “In my work on Homeland Security issues, I consistently hear other entities praise the excellence and the cooperation that we have here in Little Rock. This report validates that. This is the result of a lot of hard work performed by a lot of good people.”
City Manager Bruce T. Moore expressed his appreciation to the first-responders. “I get to see, on a daily basis, the outstanding public servants we have in the public safety field. This recognition is an opportunity for the citizens to be reminded of this excellence.”
“We do not want to take this for granted,” Moore continued. “Other cities that did not do as well will be using the report as a development tool for their efforts. Little Rock staff will build on the strengths identified in the report and follow the suggestions for slight improvements as we work to serve and protect the citizens in an even more effective manner.
For a complete copy of the 170-page report, visit http://www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/gc_1167770109789.shtm.