For Immediate Release:
Contact: Yucel Ors
PUBLIC SAFETY ALLIANCE RECEIVES WARM, BIPARTISAN RECEPTION;
PSA Urges Stepped Up Support for Enactment of D Block Allocation & Funding Bill This Year
February 11, 2011, Alexandria, Va. –The PSA leadership came to the Nation’s Capital once again this week to ask for Members of Congress to support and co-sponsor current and pending legislation that allocates D Block and provides funding to help build the public safety broadband network. The PSA has received record numbers of commitments of bipartisan support for D Block allocation and an increasingly shared commitment among all parties involved for significant federal investment to be secured to ensure build-out and sustainment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.
Specifically, the PSA and its supporters asked all Senators to work cooperatively with Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller, IV, as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and to co-sponsor his bill, S.28, The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011. S.28 was reintroduced January 25, 2011, the same day that the Obama Administration announced its support for D Block allocation in the run up to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“We are asking every Senator to support D block allocation with funding, and to work with Chairman Rockefeller, as well as Senators Lieberman, McCain, Hutchison and Kerry, all of whom are now on record in support of D block allocation. We are asking all Senators to come together and pass legislation to make this a reality this year,” San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore said.
The PSA was briefed by the White House earlier this week ahead of President Obama’s speech yesterday in Michigan, where he provided more details on the Administration’s own proposed funding and resource plans to support public safety broadband. And, after a series of meetings, the PSA was informed yesterday that Chairman Peter King and Congressman Bennie Thompson introduced H.R.607, the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011.
“We greatly appreciate yesterday’s reintroduction of legislation by Congressman Peter King along with Congressman Thompson, as the Chairman and Ranking Members of the House Homeland Security Committee. This legislation builds upon Congressman King’s previous bill, but now also includes new funding language that in many ways is similar to the Senate bill,” said New York Deputy Police Chief Chuck Dowd, “We look forward to working with President Obama, Vice President Biden and their Administration, and House and Senate leaders to secure this nationwide investment. We call on all Members of the House of Representatives to announce their support for D block allocation with federal funding, and encourage them to co-sponsor H.R.607.”
During the course of the three day trip, the PSA leadership held well over thirty meetings with House and Senate leaders and their key staff to include Congressman Peter King, Congressman Henry Waxman, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Fred Upton, Senators John Rockefeller, John Kerry, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and many others, as well as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. A complete list is available upon request.
About Public Safety Alliance
The Public Safety Alliance is a partnership with the nation's leading public safety associations, which includes the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, the National Emergency Management Association and the National Association of State EMS Officials. The partnership is operated as a program of APCO International. For more information, visit http://psafirst.org.