April 21, 2013

Boston Bombings demonstrate that all cities need to deploy city wide (emergency) wi fi

Given the fact that many people in Boston after the bombings last week were left without any way of communicating with loved ones due to either cell phone system overload (and or the now likely inaccurate rumor that the system was switched off for fear of it being used to trigger other bombs), it has become quite apparent that a realistic wi-fi strategy is needed so that people could at least text and or use social networking sites like twitter or facebook to stay in touch with loved ones (and emergency responders) after a catastrophe. In many cases with the right applications people with smartphones can also make calls on wifi using their smartphone. The point is the time has come for cities to take this issue seriously and get the ball rolling now well before our next disaster. LAAG is not the only one to call for this. We looked up "wi-fi" on the Lakewood website and as we figured there was absolutely nothing on the Lakewood website about it. We would be encouraged if we saw some minutes or agenda items on this but alas nothing.

The reason we are so disappointed is that Lakewood spends millions of taxpayer dollars on LASD stations being remodeled (and over $9 million a year for the services themselves) and we even spent tons of taxpayer dollars on an LASD "motor home" that is supposed to act as some sort of a command center in an emergency but is likely now just used at LASD picnics. The State, county and cities have also upgraded communications at all levels for first responders, but alas nothing for you little unimportant taxpayers. We also have one councilmember who is a high ranking LASD official and a new council member that works for Calif Emergency Management Agency (state version of FEMA) (Cal EMA's "mission" is to protect lives and property by effectively preparing for, preventing, responding to and recovering from all threats, crimes, hazards, and emergencies.") So one would think that they had thought of the wifi issue. But alas no sign of such thoughts. Isn't this what we pay these people (very well) for? To think about things like disasters? God knows they heap enough praise, taxpayer money and telecommunications equipment on LASD regarding these "issues". I think its time for Lakewood city council think about the rest of us who likely will need to rely on (communicating with) loved ones to get us through a disaster (like a large earthquake). And there are many ways to get this done.

So its time to get moving on this now! And yes Lakewood has the money! We just spent $750,000.00 (you read right) to resurface the Lakewood swimming pool! (only one bid by the way..so much for competitive bidding!)

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | www.LAAG.us | Lakewood, CA A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™ click here to receive LAAG posts by email

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