Lafayette Group Supports Selma March Anniversary

April 15, 2015

On March 7, 2015, roughly 40,000 people, including President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, and key congressional members, attended the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery. Due to the large crowd and key figures attending the march, Alabama’s Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, Chuck Murph, escalated the status of the event and consulted with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) for subject matter expertise.

OEC worked with Alabama's public safety agencies to create an emergency communications plan to ensure interoperability during this high-profile event. The plan provided communications in Lowndes County and the cities of Selma, Marion, and Montgomery, using a trunked radio system, conventional channels, and patching together multiple systems to complete a communications path between Montgomery and Selma. OEC provided additional support through Priority Telecommunications Services, (Government Emergency Telecommunications Service/Wireless Priority Service) to first responders and relevant public safety personnel. Federal, state, and local entities worked together to ensure the 50th anniversary of the Selma March was a success.

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