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Oakland Police Radios Under Scrutiny After Deadly Chase

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A man inside this red sedan was shot dead by police after a crash following a high-speed chase in Oakland on January 26, 2011. (CBS)

A man inside this red sedan was shot dead by police after a crash following a high-speed chase in Oakland on January 26, 2011. (CBS)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – The communications system for the Oakland Police Department is under scrutiny following a radio breakdown during a deadly officer involved chase.

Oakland officers say their radios only worked half the time during a high speed chase Wednesday, and when a suspect was shot radio calls to dispatch did not go through. Police said they couldn’t call an ambulance for the injured suspect, another agency had to do that.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said that thus far, investigators can’t find a mechanical reason for the failure, and she said it’s the first time she’s heard about radio problems.

“I’ve given IT three days and the chief has promised full cooperation of the officers, to try to run all of the radio dispatch scenarios to find out what happened that night,” said Quan.

The radio system has been in place for four and a half years, and Chief Anthony Batts said his command staff tells him they have had problems with it the entire time.

“I’m not concerned about placing blame or pointing fingers, we just need to fix it,” said Batts.

Batts describes police radios as a lifeline. The IT report is expected Monday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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