These Guidelines are applicable to Auxiliary patrols generally, including security patrols and livestock patrols. These guidelines should be used as the basis for operations orders or as a fallback in the case of a no-notice deployment.
Patrols should always consist of at least two pairs of volunteers who will be available for mutual support. Volunteers may also be paired with law enforcement officers or other responders (e.g. CERT, Cattlemen, Missouri Militia, National Guard) if the mission requires it.
A draft of an instruction manual for programming the Wouxun KG-UV6D dual-band radio from its keypad (field programming) is now available on Scribd and downloadable as a PDF. These radios are used by the Sheriff's Auxiliary and we have organized bulk purchases within the community.
The Sheriff's Auxiliary picked up a Wouxun KG-UV920P Dual Band Mobile Radio for purposes of evaluation in its last bulk radio purchase. We were looking for a bare-bones dual-band mobile at a price that volunteers could readily afford. The 920P is programmable to a wide range of channels, allowing us to use a single unit for Amateur radio (2m/148Mhz and 770cm/440Mhz), Part 90 Public Service, and, in a pinch, GMRS and MURS. The unit also supports cross-band repeat and, with the aid of a second unit and a cable, full repeater functionality.
You can use the Midland GXT-1000 radios we recommend or any hybrid FRS/GMRS radio on half of its available channels at low power without a license. If you want to (legally) use its full capability or if you purchase a programmable UHF radio like the WOUXUN KGU-V6D, you will also want to get your General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) license from the FCC. You are not permitted to use the WOUXUN on GMRS without a license. One GMRS license is good for your entire family: your spouse, children, and parents can all use your license.
The Communications Officer facilitates and coordinates Sheriff's Auxiliary communications, including working to develop communications plans and protocols, recommend and standardize technology, and coordinate communications training. The Comms Officer also participates in community processes to foster interoperable communications between the Sheriff's Office and other organizations/agencies.
Updated 16 October:
We have permission from the Fairfax County, VA CERT to use and adapt their CERT Radio Fundamentals course materials as well as the go ahead from our Sheriff. It has been gone through by our Communications Officer and a local ARES member and there is agreement that it can be taught with only minor changes or even with no changes the first time through. We have at least two possible venues, being the First Baptist Church and the MARC in Mount Vernon, both of which will allow us to send teams off to different rooms for the practical exercises. We are targetting five hours total for the two course sections (section I, short exercise, section II, short exercise) and may be able to do it in four. Now we need to come up with some possible dates and shedule the first run through for somewhere between 12 and 20 people.
The LCSA is exploring local deployment of the prototype LifeNet software stack as "a WiFi-based data communication solution designed for post-disaster scenarios". LifeNet is a fault-tolerant multipath routing framework which uses COTS (Commodity Off-The-Shelf) 802.11.x WiFi equipment to route emergency traffic from device to device until it can reach functioning infrastructure.
This is an annual amateur radio gathering in Aurora, Missouri which falls on Saturday 14 April. As discussed at our business meeting of 12 April, they will be conducting licensing tests at 10 am and this is a good opportunity to get your HAM Novice license as well as to meet local ARES volunteers and potentially, perform outreach for the Auxiliary. ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, is the backbone for emergency communications in Missouri; working with amateur operators is critical to our mission.
The annual ARRL Field Day is 23-24 June 2012. This is the event where amateur radio operators turn out and test their radio equipment, often accompanied by contests, food, camping, and so forth. It is my personal goal for the LCSA to be organized enough for a test deployment and communications test with ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) as of this date. Field Day events are also a great way to meet local amateur radio folks, take tests, buy/sell/trade equipment.