RE: Public Education On Ham Radio Re: [ScoutRadio] New Member
- At 23:19 -0500 04/12/2005, J. Gordon Beattie, Jr. wrote:
>Fred,Can't argue with that. You brought up a point of which needs to be addressed, but I can't say I've ever seen it mentioned in any written articles although we've discussed it some in New York State: education of police officers about ham radio. At the NY State Police Academy (for NYSP), the subject of ham radio is discussed, usually in context with VTL 397, NY's infamous scanner law in which amateur radio operators are purportedly exempt from its provisions except the law is so poorly written, it can be (and has been) misinterpreted such that hams have received citations for use of ham rigs on ham bands while in their vehicles. Further, many local police departments (city, county, other municipal) run their own academies or send their new officers to larger jurisdictions which offer academies. The degree to which ham radio is discussed varies widely, depending upon the instructors, course directors, and syllabuses, from adequate coverage including how we might coordinate with them to non-existent in which ham radio isn't discussed at all. Since during emergencies or simple personal contact with peace officers, knowledge of our interaction capabilities can be crucial, education of police departments is likewise critical. While this is being done in many, many areas, usually at the local level by ARES and RACES personnel especially after 9/11, it is clear that it is not being done in ALL areas and jurisdictions, witness the numbers of citations given to hams for merely using their rigs from their vehicles. Hence, ham operators need to target local police officers AND THEIR TRAINING OFFICIALS for ham education if it is not already being done and, at some level, inclusion of ham radio within police training agendas needs to be accomplished. From my own experience, this education needs to be reinforced from time to time.
>Two final points:
>1. It does take a lot of time to do this.
>2. We have thirty-year old police officers who don't know what Amateur Radio
>is, let alone how it can be used. WE NEED TO KEEP UP THE PROMOS AND
Other emergency services (e.g., fire departments), emergency managers, and private emergency support organizations [e.g., American Red Cross, Salvation Army]) also need education, but this will also vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction although both ARC and SA have MOUs with the ARRL at the national level. Again, from my own experience, particularly with the Red Cross, the degree of ham radio knowledge varies to the extremes. Continued education after basic education about ham radio needs to be constant and universal across all levels and included within training agendas. I've seen too often a new ARC manager walk into a new assignment and see a few thousand dollars worth of ham radio gear and wondered what it was all for.
At our level and key to this topic and group, it is important as already stated to educate our Scouts about ham radio through either or both Radio Merit Badge and Technician classes. To accomplish this, we need to get more hams involved within the Scouting movement.
I'll reinforce one point I mentioned in my previous post: there are a certain number of people who will never get The Word about ham radio, have never heard of it. These are the same people who cannot place Washington, DC on the map. I suspect some police officers fall within this category.
73 de Fred K2FRD
73 de Fred K2FRD, VO2FS
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