The Department of Homeland Security spent $430 million over nine years on inter-agency radios for use in national emergencies, but agents don’t know how to utilize them.

After 9/11, government agencies needed a better way to communicate with each other during wide-scale disasters. To that end, the DHS distributed radios, all tuned to a common, secure channel, to 123,000 employees across the country.

A recent report from the Inspector General found most employees didn’t know how to use the radios or knew about the secure channel.

The IG surveyed 479 employees and only one person was able to use the channel; 79% did not know the common channel even existed. Of those employees who knew about the secure channel, 25% did not know how to access it.

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