A Message from the Sheriff

Message From Sheriff Jim McDonnell




I want to take this opportunity to address concerns some of you may have in regards to
communication tower sites proposed as part of a dedicated emergency communications
system known as LA-RICS. This issue has received a good deal of attention in the
press this past week and I want you to hear directly from me what my thoughts are on
this issue.

We are all well aware that our department must be prepared for the next major crisis or
natural disaster – and we know it is a matter of time before that crisis hits. With LARICS,
we have a golden opportunity to move forward with a state of the art public
communication system that is funded by over $150 million in federal funds. This system,
once created, will offer all of us – as well as other first responders in our region – the
chance to communicate, respond and coordinate when we need it most. It will enable
us to keep our community that much safer.

Even with these advantages in mind, let me make clear that I would be the first to
oppose its implementation if I thought the radio towers to be built as part of this project
created any risk to the health and safety of the men and women in this department or
the residents of the community we serve. I have looked at facts presented by
organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization,
showing that:

  • The typical LA-RICS site signal levels at ground level are expected to be 1,000times less than the FCC limits. This translates to an exposure rate far less than most people will ever encounter in their homes or daily life.
  • A Bluetooth headset has about 1,000 times more RF emissions and a cordless phone has 2,500 times more RF emissions than the poles being installed for LARICS. Significantly, ALADS and PPOA are aware of the poles and have no concerns moving forward. Also note that no part of this system will be turned “on” until we have had everyopportunity to meet with our community, address concerns and revisit the decision iftrue evidence of health problems arise.

We will keep you all updated in future emails or bulletins. For more information, please visit the LA-RICS website at LA RICS.org.