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Report says Secret Service radios in need of upgrade

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 29, 2016 at 2:42 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- An Audit by the Department of Homeland Security found that the Secret Service was in need of an upgrade for their radio communication systems.

The department conducted the audit in response to reports of communication failures during a fence jumping incident at the White House in 2014.

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The department found the Secret Service's radio equipment to be outdated and recommended that not only upgrade it, but also implement a system to continuously upgrade their systems.

While tests of the current systems proved successful 97 percent of the time, Homeland Security still recommended regular upgrades to prevent future communications problems.

"If the Secret Service continues to use these outdated radio communications systems, it may negatively impact their protective operations," the report said.

The Secret Service complied with the department's recommendations and requested funding to upgrade the systems within the next few years.

"By the fiscal year 2019, Secret Service plans to invest about $54.2 million to upgrade its radio systems in the Washington, D.C. area," the report said.

That cost would only include radio systems in Washington, D.C. and not other areas although Secret Service director Joseph Clancy told NBC News that they would make do with the existing equipment.

"Given the effects of sequestration and increasingly tight budgets, we are proud of our ability to work effectively with what we have, while readily acknowledging the need for updated equipment," he said.

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