With Obama in Town, Oakland Police Radios Fail

Oakland police radio network goes down on night of presidential visit.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jodi Hernandez
    Oakland Police Department radios went down for 30 minutes during President Obama's visit to the East Bay city.

    The president of the United States was in town -- and the Oakland police department's radios went down.
    A radio tower overheated and failed shortly after President Barack Obama's visit to the East Bay city on Monday, leaving up to 100 Oakland police officers unable to communicate with each other or with dispatch headquarters, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Obama attended a fundraiser at the Fox Theater on Monday, a day punctuated with protests before, after, and during the presidential visit. Police, using new digital radios instituted a year ago, found themselves unable to communicate at about 10 p.m. on Monday, after Obama had left, the newspaper reported.
    The problem turned out to be an overheating radio antennae, the newspaper reported. The contractor responsible for Oakland's $18 million system took responsibility and the problem was fixed on Tuesday evening by 6 p.m., the newspaper reported.
    Still, the officers assigned to provide security for the presidential visit were in a communications "dead zone" for about a half hour, the newspaper reported. And overall problems with the radio system are not new -- officers routinely encounter dead zones, delays, and other problems all over town, including in the basement of police headquarters, the newspaper reported.