Ohio police chief trumpets need for Y2K contingency plans

Ohio police chief trumpets need for Y2K contingency plans

By Claire E. House

GCN Staff

For police departments, the year 2000 scare has unveiled an underlying problem: a lack of backup plans if communications systems fail'for any reason.

Hudson, Ohio, police chief Jim Brown has begun a crusade to spur his middle America colleagues into action. He asks those he meets one simple question: How many of you have a plan to place calls for emergency services if your communications lines go out?

'I've probably spoken to well over 750 policemen representing maybe 400 different agencies. I've had two hands go up,' he said.

Brown testified in April before the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. He characterized those in law enforcement as having 'varying degrees of apathy' to communitywide contingency planning.

Potential factors contributing to the apathy are the absence of discussion about planning at association meetings, lack of contingency training within the profession, lack of a year 2000 structural damage threat and voluminous amounts of conflicting information about the problem.

Year 2000 has helped his own department in that it now has backups for backups and has become a better, more prepared agency, he said. Pared-down plans are the key to success for law enforcement agencies, Brown said.

For more information, visit www.hudson-oh-pd.org.


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