To the editor:
I became an Iowa Highway Patrolman in 1974 and served Jasper County in that capacity until I retired in 2004.
I can say with confidence, that during those 30 years that I served as a State Trooper, the police radio system was a tool that I could not do without. The radio is oftentimes the only lifeline that any police officer has to call for backup, call for an ambulance, or call for the Fire Department to pry somebody from a twisted vehicle in the middle of the night.
What I am being told by troopers that are still working scares me. The Federal Communications Commission now requires state, county and local governments to change their radios. In some cases this change is fine, but in other cases, far too many cases in Iowa, this change makes the radios useless.
When arriving at the scene of an accident, or arresting an armed or drunk driver, officers need to know that their radios will work every time. For that matter, you need to know that their radios work every time. If you or someone that you care about needs help in an emergency situation, you need the first responders to be contacted immediately.
I recently read some statements made by Amy Sinclair. She is running for the State Senate district that includes Monroe, Lynnville, and Sully. I have not met Amy personally, but she is the only candidate that I know of that is talking about this problem.
Police, Firefighters, and EMT’s need radios that work. She wants to make sure that the radios work. We need people in the State Legislature that care about these types of things. That’s why she has my support.
Retired State Trooper