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Press Releases: Government to Government

August 24, 2007

SAFECOM Program Announces Criteria for Statewide Interoperability Plans

Washington, DC - The Department of Homeland Security’s SAFECOM program has published criteria for statewide interoperability plans. Developed with input from local and state practitioners, the criteria are designed to assist states in meeting fiscal year2006 Homeland Security Grant Program requirements. This grant program requires that all states develop and adopt a statewide communications interoperability plan by December 2007.

The criteria include recommendations for the use of a statewide strategic planning process and a comprehensive checklist based on SAFECOM’s Interoperability Continuum. The Continuum provides a framework to address critical elements for planning and implementing statewide interoperability solutions. "These critical elements include governance, standard operating procedures (SOPs), technology, training and exercises, and usage of interoperable communications," said Dr. David Boyd, Director of the Command, Control and Interoperability Division which houses the SAFECOM program.

Criteria recommendations include the perspectives of local, tribal, state, and Federal emergency responders and stakeholders. "By using a practitioner-based approach that meets the needs of end users, states will be more likely to adopt such a plan," Boyd noted.

The detailed criteria checklist is organized by ten major components of the statewide interoperability plan, including: background and preliminary steps; strategy; methodology; governance; technology; SOPs; training and exercises; usage; funding; and implementation. The statewide interoperability plan criteria are available on the SAFECOM Web site at

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