Radio Frequencies Crowded, Crisis in Big Cities Feared

Radio Frequencies Crowded, Crisis in Big Cities Feared

Police and fire department radio frequencies are dangerously crowded in the nation’s large cities, San Francisco’s communications chief has warned.

Unless steps are taken to provide more operating frequencies, said Burton H. Dougherty, general manager of the Department of Electricity, a major disaster could find policemen and firemen without adequate radio communications. Dougherty, whose department controls all public safety communication services, said that during the recent rioting in two neighborhoods, police and fire radio frequencies were strained to their efficiency limit.

Dougherty said radio industry figures show that two-way radio usage has increased from 86,000 licensed units in the United States in 1949 to 2 million today. It is estimated that there will be 5 million units by 1977, if adequate frequencies can be obtained.

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