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RACOM: Privately Owned Public Safety Radio System

NCJ Number
Law and Order Magazine Volume: 57 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 37-38,40
James Careless
Date Published
July 2009
3 pages
This article examines RACOM, a privately owned public safety radio system.
RACOM is currently in use in portions of Iowa and its bordering States of South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The system is based upon the Tyco Electronics M/A-COM EDACS platform. RACOM has installed towers for the network, is built to public safety standards, and is currently used by 300 agencies who pay a monthly subscription fee. Users find that paying a monthly access fee is a better, easier way to manage alternatives to building, owning, and maintaining their own transmission system. Users report high satisfaction with reliability and coverage of the system, and in particular, praise the company's commitment to their first responder subscribers. The concept of a third-party vendor building and maintaining a public safety radio system is unusual, but provides solid interoperability and radio communications at a very affordable price. Consideration of this option must include an analysis of the corporate culture of the service provider, as the company must be clearly dedicated to supporting the public safety customers they serve.