Sending Out an S.O.S.: Public Safety Communications Interoperability as a Collective Action Problem

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59 Federal Communications Law Journal 457-92 (2007). Jerry Brito, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, Federal Communications Law Journal.

On September 11, 2001, officers from the New York City police and fire departments responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center. That morning, police and firefighters entered each of the Twin Towers in an effort to help those inside. Shortly after the South Tower collapsed, an officer in a police helicopter hovering over the scene radioed to his colleagues, “About 15 floors down from the top, it looks like it’s glowing red. It’s inevitable.”1 Then another police pilot reported, “I don’t think this has too much longer to go. I would evacuate all people within the area of that second building.”

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