Frequently Asked Questions
- What is LA-RICS?
- The Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communication System (LA-RICS) is a modern, integrated wireless voice and data communication system designed and built to serve law enforcement, fire service and health service professionals throughout Los Angeles County. The new system will provide day-to-day communications within agencies and allow seamless interagency communications for responding to routine, emergency and catastrophic events.
- How will LA-RICS improve the lives of the residents of the Los Angeles region?
- Effective communication is fundamental to helping police officers prevent and respond to crime, keeping firefighters safe as they fight blazes and facilitating life-saving exchanges of information between EMS professionals and hospitals. LA-RICS will support rapid, safe, effective public safety response during daily operations, and support faster, better-coordinated, large-scale responses to emergencies such as wildfires, earthquakes or other disasters. The Los Angeles Region is designated as a high-threat area by the Department of Homeland Security. The new system will mitigate this threat by providing more efficient and effective emergency response to the region’s 10 million residents.
- How will LA-RICS improve first responders’ safety and effectiveness in serving the public and protecting lives?
- The Los Angeles region’s first responders currently use a patchwork of often incompatible radio technologies and frequencies. This uncoordinated system means that neighboring agencies and systems cannot easily communicate with one another. Agencies are beginning to outgrow their radio systems, with their need to communicate outstripping the capacity of existing system to carry the traffic. Finally, despite the information revolution of the last two decades, many agencies still lack the ability to exchange more than text data. LA-RICS will replace the patchwork system with a single countywide network, improve overall traffic capacity and coverage, and provide a first of its kind dedicated broadband network for first responders.
- How will ICIS fit into LA-RICS?
- The Interagency Communications Interoperability System (ICIS) has successfully developed an interoperable communications system for its seven member cities and recognizes the need for all agencies in the LA Region to have interoperable communications. ICIS is committed to working with LA-RICS towards the goal of seamless, countywide communications.
- When will the system be completed?
- While the project is currently in the planning phases, the system is estimated to take five years to implement.
- How much will the system cost?
- The total cost of the system is currently estimated at several hundred million dollars. The system is expected to produce regional long term cost savings by eliminating unnecessary redundancy and streamlining operations.
- Will a new tower be constructed in my neighborhood as a result of LA-RICS?
- Maybe. The network will be designed with the needs of first responders and the safety of the public first and foremost, which may call for additional tower locations. LA-RICS will not know the specific location of new towers until a system provider is selected and the environmental assessment is finished. While this system will inevitably result in the construction of new towers, there are clear economic, environmental and social benefits to using as many existing towers as possible.
- Do member agencies need to train and equip users for two systems – LA-RICS and their own radio network?
- No. LA-RICS is designed to fulfill members’ day-to-day, internal communications needs as well as their interoperability needs in case of emergencies. Members need only train and equip their users to use a single network designed to meet all needs and all hazards.
- How much will LA-RICS cost my agency?
- LA-RICS has yet to select a system provider, and therefore does not know the final price of the system. Once the price is determined, agency costs will be determined based on the size of the population they serve, their call volume and other factors agreed upon by the Joint Powers Authority. LA-RICS will offset construction costs by obtaining external funding, such as the $154 million federal BTOP grant the project was awarded in 2010.
- Who is responsible for the system’s performance?
- The LA-RICS Joint Powers Authority, on behalf of all its members, will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that the system meets the needs of its users. The Authority will negotiate strict performance standards into the system contract, oversee system maintenance and repairs and ensure quality system performance.
Contact LA-RICS staff:
2525 Corporate Place 2nd Floor
Monterey Park, California 91754