Los Angeles, CA: LAX shooting and communication failure report

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pepsima1

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Well I can see why The City of Los Angeles had a communication problem. You have LAX police on their own trunked system. The LAPD on their conventional P25 system and LAFD on their own 800mhz conventional system.

Communication failures will continue to happen during these kinds of incidents because you have multi-agencies that operate on their own public safety communication systems on different platforms.

LAWA - 400mhz P25 Phase I system
LAPD - 400-500mhz P25 conventional system
LAFD - 800mhz conventional system
Cell Phone comms that go to CHP dispatch not The City of Los Angeles
 

kayn1n32008

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Well I can see why The City of Los Angeles had a communication problem. You have LAX police on their own trunked system. The LAPD on their conventional P25 system and LAFD on their own 800mhz conventional system.



Communication failures will continue to happen during these kinds of incidents because you have multi-agencies that operate on their own public safety communication systems on different platforms.



LAWA - 400mhz P25 Phase I system

LAPD - 400-500mhz P25 conventional system

LAFD - 800mhz conventional system

Cell Phone comms that go to CHP dispatch not The City of Los Angeles

It seems the failure to communicate was largely a result of a lack of Training is what seems to be the larger issue at play, NOT radios on different bands and modes, that stuff is easy to fix. Training, and changing attitudes are the hard part.


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karldotcom

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And what about the two officers that werent at their posts in the terminal?

as for the travelers wandering around the LAX area for hours...the CEO of LAX makes over $250k a year, and it has been a terrorist target several times before....why is there no plan?
 
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kayn1n32008

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"But once first-responders arrived, they had trouble communicating because they did not have radios that operated together, Garcetti said."

LAX shooting report: Communication problems added to confusion - latimes.com

Two agencies operate on UHF. There should have been no problem communicating.(hello analogue conventional????) or have a separate zone with the airport trunk system in the LAPD radios. A proper unified command should have been able to solve to The different band issue, as would interop repeaters, one UHF, and one 800MHz linked together.

The comms issues are NOT a result of different systems, it is a lack of planning and training.




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The comms issues are NOT a result of different systems, it is a lack of planning and training.




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I disagree. The issues are a result of different systems if the proper patching capability is not in place. In which case planning and training have no bearing if the capability and technology is not in place. As for the planning and training of SOPs during an emergency, that's different.
 

OpSec

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I disagree. The issues are a result of different systems if the proper patching capability is not in place. In which case planning and training have no bearing if the capability and technology is not in place. As for the planning and training of SOPs during an emergency, that's different.
LAX and LAPD operate on UHF. There is no reason both sets of radios shouldn't have the UCALL/UTAC channels. If they do and nobody used them, then that is training issue. If they don't, then shame on those departments.

LAFD on 800 MHz tosses a wrinkle into this, but that can be solved with an ACU of some sort (-T, -M, -2000 etc.) or similar device on scene. Again, if that capability exists then it's a training thing.

Training absolutely is an issue here, just like it is with almost every other event that has a communications breakdown. I see it all the time at every event I'm involved in or made aware of. This stuff shouldn't be a surprise to anyone anymore, yet it constantly is.
 

alanlungs2

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I hate to say it but sometimes fire and police don't play well together . They have two different priorities one is finding the bad guy and the other is finding the good guys. I think Port Authority of NJ-NY have it right members are cross-trained in both law enforcement and fire fighting.
 

12dbsinad

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In my opinion, interop should be instant with a turn of a dial. I keep hearing about the use of ACU's, etc. those things take time to deploy. Plus, what if the incident suddenly becomes mobile and out of local jurisdiction. Read up on the Boston marathon bombing, many agencies involved and all utilizing the BAPERN network. The system was introduced in the 70's and after the incident it was noted how well that system still works, as they had flawless communications with all agencies involved.
 
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In my opinion, interop should be instant with a turn of a dial. I keep hearing about the use of APU's, etc. those things take time to deploy.
I completely agree, whether they are simplex channels or permanently patched (in between the system). Then again, if a local municipality used the same system for everybody, that would remove 99% of excuses and reasons as for why there was not communication. I can speak from experience, here in my county. Every single city PD, FD, SO, EMS, public works, transportation, uses the same county system. And with that are many County Wide interop channels and as well as FD/LE interop channels.
 

kayn1n32008

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I disagree. The issues are a result of different systems if the proper patching capability is not in place. In which case planning and training have no bearing if the capability and technology is not in place. As for the planning and training of SOPs during an emergency, that's different.

Here we go again! LoL

There is little reason why officers from LAPD can not have the LAX system in their radios. When hey show up on scene they change systems. It IS planning and training that causes the problems, not that LADP is P25 conventional and LAX is P25 trunked... They are on the same band! Analog/P25 conventional interop, or having the system in the radios that are adjacent to the airport would allow them to talk. It is not rocket science... Just planning, training and cooperation.


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gesucks

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Ohh how easy it is to say planning and training.

Now lets look at the real world.

So LAWA gets a new P25 trunked radio system.

1. Anyone want to guess how many radios LAPD has?
2. Anyone want to guess how many of the LAPD radios are flashed for P25 trunking?
3. Costs: Some one has to redo all the codeplugs for ALL of LAPD to add LAWA trunked radio system. Then someone has to go touch all the radios and reprogram them.

I can tell you that LASO spends over a million dollars a year to to cover the cost of people (man hours not travel or officer missed working hours) going and doing basic reprogramming.

The cost to add P25 trunking and reprogram all LAPD radios to talk to LAWA is in the 7 digit range easy. So while you can say there are the same band they can talk, the reality of cost and real world issues do not make it that simple.
 
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Ohh how easy it is to say planning and training.

Now lets look at the real world.
I concur with this. Also, most everybody on this post is saying training this, training that. However, if the programming is not in the radios from the beginning or system patching, ect, then there is nothing to be trained on. Just as kayn1n32008 said, "PLANNING and COOPERATION" between all departments. And besides, do we even know if the proper programming or interop ability was even physical available at that time or is everybody just speculating that the PD and FD weren't trained properly?
 

radioman2001

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Training,training,and training is all it would take PLUS a few well placed repeaters at LAX proper with I-Tac to U-Tac capability. All the UHF portables radios are capable of conventional analog/P-25 and so are the 800 ones so there is no need for special radios. This is where the training comes in, when agencies are responding to LAX they should all be trained to switch to the on-site repeaters which would become command. You can have up to 3 so even if you want to split PD from FD you can still do it.
My agency works with FDNY all the time and we are on VHF and they are on UHF-T. We have 3 pack-set radios in GCT on VHF that can be deployed wherever they are needed. Plus on the way 3 VHF/UHF ones and a few VHF/700/800 ones that can be deployed at any Command Post. I have plans for permanent U-Tac to our VHF system in the works for the tunnel.
Last Spring once a month we had 4 Drills with FDNY in the Park Ave Tunnel, and I hastily made up 2 VHF/UHF cross band battery operated repeaters that were deployed at the Emergency Exits resulting on FDNY having direct access from the street using U-Tac 1 to our Tunnel frequency which is monitored at the Rail Controllers desk .
I strongly advocate the training part, and anybody that says it's not easy may be right, but you better damn well have records of training when the lawsuits fly. When I was with NYCEMS we had a drill every April at Kennedy airport, so I would think LAX would have something similar.
I find the comment that LASO spends millions for minor reprogramming each year ludacris since maintainence has to be done anyway, and I am sure they spend a lot more than that for B.S. projects each year. Comments about having to add this option or another is also B.S. every radio as I stated earlier is CAPABLE of ANALOG SIMPLEX or repeat. This is a known issue now and they would be negligent to not address it, and reprogramming is the least cost fix even if they don't install repeaters at LAX.
 

box23

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In my opinion, interop should be instant with a turn of a dial. I keep hearing about the use of ACU's, etc. those things take time to deploy. Plus, what if the incident suddenly becomes mobile and out of local jurisdiction. Read up on the Boston marathon bombing, many agencies involved and all utilizing the BAPERN network. The system was introduced in the 70's and after the incident it was noted how well that system still works, as they had flawless communications with all agencies involved.
You bring up a couple good points.

BAPERN works because it was developed, like similar things, by people who understood how to work together. The system also uses a single band that everybody in the area has radios for. That by itself doesn't force everyone to use that single band for day to day intra-agency communications, but everyone knows when you need help that's the radio you grab.

I feel that is a very good model for other places to follow. I disagree with some people that feel every agency needs to be on the same band all the time, ala FirstNet on 700 MHz. There are very good reasons to use multiple bands including coverage issues, operational issues, and close quarters spectrum management. Exactly how many simultaneous conversations can you have from a small parking lot or from a single vehicle before someone's receiver gets blanked when using a single band?

As some posters say everyday on this board technology is only a small part of the whole "interoperability" picture. You actually need to have responders want to talk to each other. Once that is established the planning and operation is easy. As many have posted in this thread and others, conventional analog is both easy and cheap.

As has been brought up there is no reason for both the LAPD and LAWA radios to not have the UCALL/UTAC channels programmed. The LAFD could be included easily as well by equipping commander's vehicles with analog only UHF radios. With good quality, low tier radios available for sub $600 price tags the entire fleet could be equipped and they might even be able to talk to LA County units in the border areas.
 

gman65

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The reality is, the new trunked radios LAWA has are programmed with LAPD and adjacent frequencies. LAFD units on the airport have radios that work on the trunked system and there are (or were in 2011) still patches in place from the old radios. Outside LAFD units may not. But they had the command capability to talk to each other. LAFD has both a CRASH and on airport station. Those units have aviation radios in addition to the trunked system LAWA uses, on top of the LAFD equipment.

What I saw at the time the new system was implemented was that no one with a new radio knew what to do with it, they were programmed with all the neighboring systems, trunked and conventional. Plus LAWA did not issue new radios to most of the airport staff beyond the PD and some operations people. Everyone else was on the old system and using a patch or a cell phone.

Another note. TSA called the same emergency telephone number the others did for emergencies. They had no radio communication with the airport staff, including the PD.

No one thought out a plan and drilled it. This would have found the areas where they were both strong and weak.

This isn't the first time agencies in So Cal have had to cooperate. With fires, floods, earthquakes and everything else here, outside the airport, they work well together.


I concur with this. Also, most everybody on this post is saying training this, training that. However, if the programming is not in the radios from the beginning or system patching, ect, then there is nothing to be trained on. Just as kayn1n32008 said, "PLANNING and COOPERATION" between all departments. And besides, do we even know if the proper programming or interop ability was even physical available at that time or is everybody just speculating that the PD and FD weren't trained properly?
 

gman65

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The reality is, the new trunked radios LAWA has are programmed with LAPD and adjacent frequencies. LAFD units on the airport have radios that work on the trunked system and there are (or were in 2011) still patches in place from the old radios. Outside LAFD units may not. But they had the command capability to talk to each other. LAFD has both a CRASH and on airport station. Those units have aviation radios in addition to the trunked system LAWA uses, on top of the LAFD equipment.

What I saw at the time the new system was implemented was that no one with a new radio knew what to do with it, they were programmed with all the neighboring systems, trunked and conventional. Plus LAWA did not issue new radios to most of the airport staff beyond the PD and some operations people. Everyone else was on the old system and using a patch or a cell phone.

Another note. TSA called the same emergency telephone number the others did for emergencies. They had no radio communication with the airport staff, including the PD.

No one thought out a plan and drilled it. This would have found the areas where they were both strong and weak.

This isn't the first time agencies in So Cal have had to cooperate. With fires, floods, earthquakes and everything else here, outside the airport, they work well together.
I should have said 2012 when they implemented the trunking system.
 

12dbsinad

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As some posters say everyday on this board technology is only a small part of the whole "interoperability" picture. You actually need to have responders want to talk to each other. Once that is established the planning and operation is easy. As many have posted in this thread and others, conventional analog is both easy and cheap.
Spot on. like the old saying, "you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink it", same holds true with the word "interoperability". It isn't a technology.
 
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