Back in the 1970′s there was a Pot of Money called Calea Funds. Many Police radio systems were upgraded, new mutual aid repeaters were installed, consoles upgraded, etc. The issue seemed to be “get the money, before someone else does”, not “is this the best use of these funds”?
As the Biblical writer said, “There is nothing new under the sun”.
Today, there are new pots of money. They are labeled “Homeland Security Grants”, “911 Access Fees”, and other government money pots. The idea is to pour money into a hole and if we are lucky some portion of it may actually be used for something useful.
Much of these funds is expended with more of an eye toward “getting our share so the guy in the next county doesn’t get it all”, rather than for well planned needed equipment.
When the current wave of money pots are empty we will have a nation strewn with a myriad assortment of vehicular repeaters, “ineroperability solutions”, and other devices that will in many cases rarely, if ever, be used. Often this will be because of the inability for the intended users to remember how to use them in a time of crisis.
However, this may give some needed cash flow to a few manufacturers, and maybe it is just a small government subsidy to the industry.
While many existing Public Safety radio systems are in need of upgrading, these funds often avoid those needs and install rarely to be used “interoperability solutions.”
In a few years, this billions of dollars of equipment will find its place on the palets at public auctions and perhaps the amateur radio operators will find applications for it.
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