Capt. Ron Nelson, a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, said although his department is making improvements in its VHF (very high frequency) system, it has no immediate plans to acquire the kind of UHF digital system adopted in Simi Valley. “It’s going to be a growing trend across the nation that people are switching to these UHF frequencies so they can communicate with each other. But it is expensive,” Nelson said. “It’s going to make their communication within their (Simi Valley’s) jurisdiction much easier for them.” As far as radio communications between Simi Valley officer and Ventura County sheriff’s deputies, Nelson doesn’t see any major problem. “It will be different, but when we communicate with each other we do it through our dispatch centers, and that doesn’t change,” he said. “We monitor one another’s frequencies on scanners, so we might have to make some changes there.” The Sheriff’s Department recently upgraded its radio system that serves as an alternate 911 center in Thousand Oaks. It expands radio dispatching capabilities and allows dispatchers to use channels that were previously unavailable at the Thousand Oaks center, which is operated by the Sheriff’s Department. The Thousand Oaks facility is a backup communications center that can be used in emergencies if the Sheriff’s Department has to evacuate the primary 911 center in Ventura. This occurred in March when flooding from the nearby Ventura County Jail forced dispatchers to evacuate their old underground dispatch center there. Riegert said the new Simi Valley system has more than 500 radios citywide, with about half used by the Police Department. It has coverage similar to the old VHF system but is much clearer, with no static and fewer spots in Simi Valley where radios lose communication. It is designed for portable radios to work inside buildings almost anywhere in the valley. “The entire city of Simi Valley – from crossing guards, to bus drivers to public works employees – are connected in an emergency or on a routine day-to-day basis,” he said. “If somebody acts up on a bus, the driver is connected to police. If police need barricades because of a traffic accident, they are connected to the Public Works Department. We’re still only scratching the surface in terms of the capabilities.” email@example.com (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SIMI VALLEY – Police are getting better coverage, quicker communication with other city employees and more privacy during sensitive investigations as a result of a new $6.4 million radio system that went into operation this summer at the Simi Valley Police Department. The equipment makes the department Ventura County’s first law enforcement agency to convert to the digital ultra-high frequency system other law enforcement agencies across the nation are expected to adopt by 2011. The conversion is partly the result of efforts by police and firefighting agencies nationwide to develop a uniform system, after communications problems developed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, Kern and Santa Barbara counties have already converted to the new radio system, including the Los Angeles Police Department. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“In an emergency, such as we had in the Northridge Earthquake, we need the ability to talk to others across agency lines,” said Simi Valley police Lt. Greg Riegert, who helped set up the new equipment for his department. “I helped design our old system in the late 1980s, but the equipment was 15 years old, and it was falling apart. We had detectives and captains who didn’t have radios in their vehicles because we didn’t have replacement parts.” During the Northridge Earthquake, the department had three levels of communication. The first two crashed, Riegert said. “The third got us through the crisis,” he said. Simi Valley police Lt. Sterling Johnson said he and his fellow officers welcome the change. “We like it a lot better because we do not have as many dead zones,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot better system. We have LAPD and L.A. County Sheriff come into our area quite a bit, and we can communicate a lot better with them.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush’s policy in Iraq ”is not working,” a high-level commission said Wednesday in a blunt, bleak assessment that urged an urgent diplomatic attempt to stabilize the country and allow withdrawal of most combat troops by early 2008. After nearly four years of war and the deaths of more than 2,900 U.S. troops, the situation is ”grave and deteriorating” and America’s ability ”to influence events within Iraq is diminishing,” the commission warned. It recommended the U.S. reduce ”political, military or economic support” for Iraq if the government in Baghdad cannot make substantial progress toward providing for its own security. The report said Bush should put aside misgivings and engage Syria, Iran and the leaders of insurgent forces in negotiations on Iraq’s future, to begin by year’s end. It urged him to revive efforts at a broader Middle East peace. Barring a significant change, it warned of a ”slide toward chaos.” In a slap at the Pentagon, the commission said there is ”significant underreporting” of the actual level of violence in the country. It also faulted the U.S. intelligence effort, saying the government ”still does not understand very well either the insurgency in Iraq or the role of the militias.” On the highly emotional issue of troop withdrawals, the commission warned against either a precipitous pullback or an open-ended commitment to a large deployment. ”Military priorities must change,” the report said, toward a goal of training, equipping and advising Iraqi forces. ”We should seek to complete the training and equipping mission by the end of the first quarter of 2008.” The commission recommended the number of U.S. troops embedded to train Iraqis should increase dramatically, from 3,000-4,000 currently to 10,000-20,000. Commission member William Perry, defense secretary in the Clinton administration, said those could be drawn from combat brigades already in Iraq. The report intensifies pressure on Bush to change direction, but he is under no obligation to follow its recommendations. Still to come are options being developed in separate studies by the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council. The White House says he will make decisions within weeks. ”If the president is serious about the need for change in Iraq, he will find Democrats ready to work with him in a bipartisan fashion to find a way to end the war as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who is in line to become speaker when the new Congress convenes in January. ”The president has the ball in his court now … and we’re going to be watching very closely,” said Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who will take over as Senate majority leader in January. Bush received the report in an early morning meeting at the White House with commission members. He pledged to treat each proposal seriously and act in a ”timely fashion.” He was flanked by the panel’s co-chairmen, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton in a remarkable scene _ a president praising the work of a group that had just concluded his policy had led to chaos and risked worse. ”Many Americans are understandably dissatisfied,” Hamilton said later at a news conference that marked the formal release of the results of the commission’s eight-month labors. ”There is no magic bullet,” said Baker. The report painted a grim picture of Iraq nearly four years after U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein. It urged Bush to embrace steps he has thus far rejected, including involving Syria and Iran in negotiations over Iraq’s future. It warned that if the situation continues to deteriorate, there is a risk of a ”slide toward chaos (that) could trigger the collapse of Iraq’s government and a humanitarian catastrophe.” ”Neighboring countries could intervene. … The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized,” commissioners said. Baker, Hamilton and the other members of the commission traveled to the Capitol from the White House to present their findings to senior lawmakers. The report makes 79 separate recommendations on Iraq policy. The recommendations came at a pivotal time, with Bush under domestic pressure to change course and with the new, Democratic-controlled Congress certain to cast a skeptical look at administration policy. Additionally, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the architect of the administration’s war policy, has resigned. His replacement, Robert Gates, is on track for Senate confirmation this week after a remarkable assessment of his own _ that the United States is not winning the war. Bush has rejected establishing timetables for withdrawing the 140,000 U.S. troops and has said he isn’t looking for ”some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq.” There was no letup Wednesday in the killing in Iraq, where a mortar attack killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in a secondhand goods market. Police said the shelling was followed closely by a suicide bombing in the Sadr City Shiite district of the capital. It was the type of violence that has led many to declare that Iraq is in the throes of a civil war _ an assessment that Bush has refused to accept. By whatever name, Baker, Hamilton and the other eight members of the commission said the status quo was unacceptable. ”Violence is increasing in scope and lethality. It is fed by a Sunni Arab insurgency, Shiite militias, death squads, al-Qaida and widespread criminality. Sectarian conflict is the principal challenge to stability,” the report said. The commission’s recommendation to have U.S. forces embedded with Iraqi units reflects an approach the military already has been emphasizing in recent months. But administration officials say Iraqis are not yet ready to go it alone against the insurgency. U.S. allies in the region, including the powerful Sunni leadership in Saudi Arabia, say the Arab-Israeli conflict underlies other Mideast problems and that rancor from the impasse makes other issues harder to solve. The commission recommended that a ”diplomatic offensive” begin by Dec. 31 aimed at building an international consensus for stability in Iraq, and that it include every country in the region. The United States accuses Syria and Iran of bankrolling terrorism and stirring up trouble in the region. The United States has had no diplomatic ties to Iran for nearly three decades, and pulled its ambassador from Syria last year. Still, the commission said, ”Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively.” Ahead of the report’s release, the White House said it would consider talking to Iran and Syria if the commission recommended it. ___ On the Net: View the Iraq Study Group report.
Getty Images – Getty Son made a fool out of a number of Burnley players en route to goal Jose Mourinho revealed his son has dubbed Heung-min Son ‘Sonaldo’, comparing him to Juventus’ star man.But after watching his spectacular solo goal against Burnley, the manager thinks the Tottenham forward is more like the legendary Brazil striker. Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship stalemate latest Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Getty Images – Getty 2 targets Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti statement PEP TALK Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ 2 appointed LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS update on target Chelsea fan arrested for allegedly racially abusing Heung-min Son Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ At White Hart Lane, captain Harry Kane got things going with a long-range strike before Lucas Moura doubled the advantage inside the first ten minutes.Son then produced his moment of magic and Kane made it 4-0 after the break with a fine strike before Moussa Sissoko added another.Mourinho was quick to praise Kane’s all-round showing, however, admitting he is already struggling for accurate accolades.“It’s not just the goals, it’s the combination play, it’s what he does between the lines, it’s what he does in the defensive process and it’s what he does at a leadership level,” he explained.“Incredible. Again: top, top, top player and person. I cannot find any more words to describe him.“I cannot have a bad feeling with these guys. I’m here to help them.“So if I can help them to be better then that’s what I want.” Pep Guardiola gives Man City injury update and talks Christmas schedule LATEST Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman But Mourinho said it reminded him of one of Ronaldo’s most famous goals during his one and only season at Barcelona where he scored 47 times in 51 games.“Even before this goal my son calls him ‘Sonaldo’, and today he was ‘Sonaldo Nazario’,” the Tottenham manager said afterwards.“The only thing that came to my mind was a goal where I had the honour to be sat next to Sir Bobby Robson, in 1996, and Ronaldo Nazario scored a goal against Compostela from behind the halfway line and scored a very similar goal.“I met his parents yesterday, and I understood also where it comes from. The kid is fantastic and I am so happy.”On his wonder goal, Son said he got the ball and was going to play Dele Alli in.“I saw him running, but the right-back was making it hard so I tried to put my booster on and after two or three seconds I was in front of goal so I was surprised,” he beamed.“At home, this kind of goal makes me so proud and feels amazing. I was tired after the running, so I had to stay focused to finish it. Imagine, you do so well to get there and miss it, you’ll be upset from my point of view.” rookie error Son scored a goal of the season contender in Spurs’ 5-0 win, with many likening it to Lionel Messi against Getafe or George Weah for Milan against Verona.Collecting the ball 20 yards from his OWN goal, Son began running and kept running, tearing through the opposition defence before slotting the ball into the back of the net. Mourinho definitely approved of the Messi/Weah-esque effort from Son Liverpool transfer news live: Mbappe latest, Lille star wants to join Reds in future