City of Los Angeles Ends LA-RICS Membership, Plans to Build Own LMR System

Los Angeles City SealLos Angeles City Council members voted unanimously November 18th to opt out of its membership the the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), citing potential cost advantages by taking the action and plans to deploy a new city-owned land-mobile-radio (LMR) network during the next 13 months.

“It is in the City’s best interest to opt out of LA-RICS, because the City will be able to upgrade its existing system and use existing infrastructure at a lower cost, while still achieving interoperability within the region,” according to a report provided to council members by the city’s Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) Sharon Tso and City Administrative Officer (CAO) Miguel Santana.

Council members approved the measure by a 12-0 vote. During the meeting, there was no council discussion or verbal description of the measure, which was referenced publicly only as “Item 31.” The matter was discussed on Tuesday by the city council’s public-safety committee, which allowed public comment on the matter.

During the past month, there had been considerable speculation that the city of Los Angeles would opt out of LA-RICS, according to multiple sources. Indeed, the possibility has been discussed for most of this year, but city officials have played key roles in revamping the design of the LA-RICS public-safety LTE network and in getting Congress to pass a law that apparently will give LA-RICS a five-year extension to use federal grant money.

LA-RICS recently completed construction of the first phase of its public-safety LTE system, which was reduced from 232 sites to 77 sites—21 of which are owned by the city of Los Angeles—as part of a redesign approved by the Los Angeles City Council in the spring. LA-RICS also plans to build a P25 network in the region, but design plans for that system have not been finalized, as environmental requirements are not expected to be done until mid-2016, according to the report.

With the council vote, the city of Los Angeles no longer is a member of LA-RICS, although it will remain an LA-RICS affiliate that can subscribe to the network and provide infrastructure assets, like towers. By taking the action before a Nov. 24 deadline established by LA-RICS, the city of Los Angeles will not be financially liable for any additional costs associated with LA-RICS deployments, as well as the potential of having to repay Los Angeles County for funds it provided to LA-RICS during the past two years, according to the city report.

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HAMCON 2015 Photos

SCMA member Glen Rothstein (LA-145, KK6OTP) was kind enough to provide his photographs of HAMCON 2015. HAMCON (also known as the ARRL Southwestern Division Convention) was held this year on September 11-13th in the City Of Torrance.

The convention featured displays from equipment vendors, tech talks, demonstrations, VE testing, T-hunting (radio direction finding) and much more.

LASO DCS Truck Antenna Patch-COLLAGE (1)

To view all of Glen’s photos, please see the HAMCON 2015 page.

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V-22 Osprey Aircraft in Town for Presidential Visit

Nighthawk Flight-0009

In case you haven’t heard, President Obama is coming to Los Angeles on Saturday, October 10th.

From a CBS L.A. article:

LOS ANGELES ( — President Barack Obama will make a roughly 6 1/2–hour visit to Southern California Saturday to attend a series of Democratic fundraisers.

Obama is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 1 p.m. Saturday, according to the White House. He is scheduled to depart at 7:25 p.m.

While in Los Angeles, Obama is expected to take part in a roundtable discussion at the home of “Star Trek” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams, with tickets costing $33,400 per person, according to Variety. Proceeds will benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The president is also expected to attend a concert by a mystery performer at a private home in the Pacific Palisades, according to various Hollywood trade magazines. Tickets for that event cost between $1,000 and $5,000, with proceeds benefiting the Democratic Hope Fund, which supports the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America.

Obama will also attend a dinner at the home of interior designer Michael Smith and his partner, former HBO executive James Costos, the U.S. ambassador to Spain. Dinner tickets range from $10,000 to $33,400 and will also benefit the Democratic Hope Fund, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

Club member Chester Brown (LA-203 and K6CRB) provided us with his photograph of a US Marine Corps V-22 Osprey. 

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Adam 12’s Martin Milner LAPD End-of-Watch Broadcast

The LAPD End-of-Watch Broadcast for Adam 12 actor Martin Milner (Officer Pete Maloy). This broadcast was recorded by Shaaron Claridge (now Shaaron Snead), the original voice of the dispatcher on Adam 12.


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Redondo Beach PD/FD Open House

The Redondo Beach Police and Fire Departments will be having their annual open house this Sunday, October 4, 2015. The event will be at the Redondo Beach Civic Center from 10 am until 3 pm.

Members of the public can shoot a handgun at a video simulator which simulates sudden occurrences in which a police officer must make an instantaneous decision whether to shoot or not. Other aspects of the police and fire departments will also be on display.

On occasion, other organizations, such as the California Department of Fish and Game
wardens have also participated in the event.

Source: SCMA Member Dominick Falzone, LA-125 

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Man Who Flew Drone in Path of LAPD Helicopter Charged

drone operatorA man who allegedly flew a drone into the path of a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter involved in a suspect search in Hollywood, forcing the pilot to take evasive action, was charged Tuesday with a pair of misdemeanors.

Martin Sheldon, 57, was charged with two counts of obstructing a peace officer in the lawful performance of his duties, according to the City Attorney’s Office. He is due to be arraigned Oct. 26.

According to police and prosecutors, Sheldon allegedly flew a drone toward the helicopter around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 27 while the pilot was assisting with a search for an assault suspect. The pilot was forced to break off of the search due to the drone, prosecutors said.

Police said they tracked down the drone operator, who was in the parking lot of a mini-mall at Sunset Boulevard and North Gower Street. Police said the helicopter was over Sunset and Western avenues when it encountered the drone.

Police confiscated the drone.

According to the City Attorney’s Office, video footage from the drone shows the device approaching the helicopter and its spotlight, and shows numerous police units on the ground.

Sheldon faces up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines if convicted, prosecutors said.

“Using a drone to interfere with a police investigation places our officers and the public at serious risk,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said.

Source: City News Service


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LA-RICS LTE Network On Track to Meet Sept 30 Deadline

la-ricsThe much-anticipated public-safety LTE network being deployed by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) is on track to be completed by next week’s federal deadline, and the new system should be operational by the end of the year, according to an LA-RICS spokesman.

In the spring, LA-RICS reduced the number of eNodeB base stations in its proposed public-safety LTE network to 78—a dramatic drop from the original plan of 232 sites but still the largest such deployment in the U.S.—with 63 permanent tower sites and 15 deployable sites being located at fixed locations.

LA-RICS spokesman Russ Stanton said yesterday that 50 of the 63 permanent sites have been completed. Of the remaining 13 permanent sites, “9 or 10” should be finished by the end of this week, meaning 3 or 4 sites need to be done by the Sept. 30 deadline, he said.

LA-RICS has received 11 of the 15 cell on wheels (COWs) deployable towers, and the other four units are scheduled to be delivered by next Wednesday’s deadline, Stanton said.

Most of the LA-RICS public-safety LTE project is being funded with federal grant money from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which expires on Sept. 30. No extension of the statutory Sept. 30 deadline is expected, because it could only happen via an act of Congress.

Network optimization and testing is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks, after which the public-safety LTE system should be ready for regular public-safety operations, Stanton said.

On May 1, LA-RICS received the necessary federal approval to restart the public-safety LTE deployment, which is the largest of the five early-builder projects that are expected to provide real-world insights for the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network. All community-outreach sessions required by local governments under the new plan have been completed, Stanton said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

One area of change in the revised LTE plan is that two microwave sites no longer will be part of the initial deployment, according to Stanton. One microwave site has been dropped from the plan entirely, while the other will be constructed as part of the LA-RICS deployment of a P25 system for the region, he said.

Source: Urgent Communications


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LAFD Major Emergency Structure Fire

From a article:

PLAYA VISTA – The Los Angeles Fire Department battled a Greater Alarm Structure Fire in a large Playa Vista office building in the morning of September 19th, 2015.

LAFD arrived on scene to find a three-story building at 11869 Teale Street with fire showing on the third floor of an occupied business known as Innovation-Line, a supplier of Promotional Products. Additional firefighters were quickly requested.

Flames rapidly spread from the third floor to the attic above and the second floor below. Firefighters worked aggressively to battle the intense flames under very hot conditions and worked to ventilate the structure. However, the conditions rapidly deteriorated until it was unsafe to have firefighters inside.

The Incident Commander radioed for all firefighters to exit the building and fight defensively. Firefighters swiftly deployed large diameter hand lines and ladder pipes from aerial ladder trucks to keep the fire in check and ensured no nearby structures were damaged.

Approximately 100 firefighters, under the command of Deputy Chief Joseph Castro, extinguished the flames in just under two hours.

The department of Building and Safety assessed the structure and determined the first and second floor were structurally sound and not compromised, thus allowing firefighters to safely make entry once again and extinguish hot spots through the mass of smoldering debris.

No one was injured. The LAFD Arson Section is investigating the fire cause and the estimated dollar loss is being tabulated.

Dispatched: AR12 AR2 BC13 BC18 BC4 BC5 CM22 CM51 CM52 E205 E211 E227 E27 E292 E295 E37 E43 E5 E62 E67 EA1 EM11 H1 HR56 HU59 PH1 RA27 RA34 RA867 RM2 T11 T27 T5 T63 T92 T95 UR27 UR88 + 1 CCFD Engine.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

The fire could be heard on LAFD channels 9, Tacs 12, 13, Medical Tac 14 and Command 11.

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Griffith Park Brush Fire

Photo by SCMA member Chester Brown, K6CRB

Firefighting helicopter making a water drop in Griffith Park. Photo by SCMA member Chester Brown, K6CRB

On Saturday, September 5th a brush fire broke out in Griffith Park. The 3-5 acre fire erupted at 2:30 pm according to Erik Scott, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

100 firefighters assisted by water dropping helicopters had the blaze extinguished by 4 pm. No structures were threatened, and no injuries were reported.

Club member Chester Brown, K6CRB was on the scene and provided us with the photos used in this story.

Brush Fire Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Photo by SCMA member Chester Brown, K6CRB

Brush Fire Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Photo by SCMA member Chester Brown, K6CRB

Brush Fire Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Photo by SCMA member Chester Brown, K6CRB

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F/A-18 Aircraft at Long Beach Airport

SCMA member Dominick Falzone, LA-125 contributed the following information: 

On Thursday, September 3, U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 aircraft will be arriving at Long Beach Airport (LGB). The aircraft are scheduled to arrive at 2:00 p.m. and conduct daily operations throughout the Labor Day weekend. They are scheduled to depart on Monday, September 7 at 4:00 p.m. All times are tentative and subject to change.

The U.S. Marine Corps has consistently demonstrated a desire to assist LGB in being a good neighbor. The F/A 18 aircraft operations will be restricted to daytime hours.

F/A 18 aircraft are noticeably louder than other aircraft and are easily heard in neighborhoods near Long Beach Airport. The aircraft will utilize noise abatement procedures when operating in the vicinity of Long Beach, including modified arrival and departure flight profiles and minimum use of afterburners.

If you’d like to meet the pilots, they will be hosting a meet and greet on Saturday, September 5 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Signature Flight Support, 3333 East Spring Street.

This news release came from the Long Beach city government, which operates Long Beach Airport.  Most airports are required to let U.S. government airport aircraft use the airport for no charge, as a condition of the airport’s accepting federal aviation funding.

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