Cities request trust fund

The National League of Cities is calling on Congress to create a permanent public interest trust fund that would support grants to promote interoperability among first responders.

The fund would be built with proceeds from the auction of spectrum licenses to public airways, the group said. Joining the league in its request were the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The recommendation is part of an urgent appeal by 18 national associations to get Congress and the Bush administration to take swift action to improve public safety communications in the homeland security arena.

The request for the trust fund coincides with the release of a final report on public safety communications and interoperability by the National Taskforce on Interoperability. During a terrorist attack or local catastrophe, most police, fire and emergency medical personnel lack the capability to quickly share information, according to the report.


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