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Panel Addresses Radio Interoperability Among First Responders

headshots of the P25 CAP Advisory Panel members
Clockwise from Top Left: Chris Kindelspire, Arnold Hooper, Dan Robinson, Gerald Reardon, Roger Strope, Joseph Heaps, John Evanoff, Marty McCoy, Mike Kionka, Morton Leifer

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recently announced the membership of its Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) Advisory Panel.

“To successfully respond to day-to-day incidents and large-scale emergencies, first responders must be able to communicate with each other regardless of the make or model of their equipment,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “S&T has been working to address this challenge by promoting the acceleration of interoperability standards and establishing compliance testing.”

Project 25 aims to solve the issues that first responders face as manufacturers often use different technical approaches that make their radios unique, and, thus, potentially incompatible with other systems. P25 CAP is a formal, independent process, created by DHS and operated in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for ensuring that communications equipment that is advertised as P25 is actually compliant. Through a well-defined testing process with publicly published results, the P25 CAP provides public safety agencies with evidence that the equipment is tested against and complies with standards for performance, conformance and interoperability.

The P25 CAP Advisory Panel will provide S&T’s Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial perspectives on portable, handheld, and vehicle-mounted radios and infrastructure equipment. Through the P25 CAP AP, S&T OIC can support the collective interest of organizations that procure P25-compliant equipment.

The Advisory Panel members will provide recommendations on promoting the P25 CAP, review and comment on proposed compliance assessment bulletins and updates to existing test documents, establish new test documents for new types of P25 CAP equipment, and propose P25 user input for improving functionality through the standards-making process.

The inaugural Advisory Panel membership, which includes members representing federal, state and local organizations, includes the following individuals as it commences its activities across early 2016.

•Dan Robinson
•Arnold Hooper
•Morton Leifer
•Marty McCoy
•Roger Strope
•Chris Kindelspire
•Mike Kionka
•Gerald Reardon
•Joseph Heaps
•John Evanoff

For more information, visit http://www.firstresponder.gov/P25CAP.