Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2008
Sen. Kenneth Corn
Corn: Kimball Report
Reaffirms Need for Statewide Interoperable Communications System
In October of 2007, Oklahoma Governor Brad
Henry commissioned a study on the development of a statewide emergency
communications plan from L. Robert Kimball and Associates Architects
and Engineers. On Monday, Sen. Kenneth
Corn said the findings of the recently released study reaffirm
the need for the state to implement an interoperable statewide communications
Corn said such a system would allow emergency personnel from various
agencies to communicate efficiently in times of crisis. Currently,
agencies use independent systems that cannot interoperate with each
“The findings and recommendations of the study confirm what
many of us already knew – we aren’t adequately prepared
for disasters and emergencies,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “In
emergency situations, speed saves lives. Requesting this study was
the first step toward improving our emergency readiness, and now
we need to move forward and act on the recommendations.”
In recent years, Corn has been a vocal advocate for the establishment
of a statewide emergency communications system. In 2006, Corn authored
legislation that would have authorized $50.7 million in bonds to
fund the establishment of such a system. Corn authored the legislation
following the tragic deaths of Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew
S. Evans and Oklahoma City Police Officer Jeff Rominger, whose cars
collided while in a police pursuit.
If local, state and federal agencies had been able to communicate
with each other, Corn said, the tragedy could have been prevented.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure that tragedies
like this are prevented,” Corn said. “This is an investment
that could save lives. Oklahomans should never be left behind when
In addition to recommending that the state develop the communications
system, the study suggests Oklahoma could be positioned to emerge
as a leader in emergency management by examining best practices
from other states.
Corn said that if the Legislature is serious about making Oklahoma
a safer place, it must act on the recommendations of the study.
“Across our state, we’ve seen the devastation caused
by natural disasters and terrorism,” Corn said. “We
have a moral responsibility to provide for the safety of our citizens.
If we aren’t doing everything in our power to prepare for
disaster and emergency, then we are neglecting our most fundamental
The study estimated the cost of installing and maintaining the
system to be $5.4 million in its first year.
For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office: (405) 521-5576