The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Tuesday the launch of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. The events of September 11, 2001 and last year’s hurricane season underscored America’s dependence on an effective national telecommunications infrastructure. The new bureau will build on the Commission’s longstanding commitment to meet the needs of public safety by promoting robust, reliable, and resilient communications services in times of emergency.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is designed to provide an efficient, effective, and responsive organizational structure to address matters related to public safety, homeland security, and emergency management and preparedness. The bureau is responsible for the combined public safety-related functions that were previously dispersed among the other bureaus and offices.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is organized into three divisions:

Policy Division – The Policy Division drafts, develops, and administers rules, regulations, and policies, including those pertaining to the 911/Enhanced 911 (E911), Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), operability and interoperability for public safety communications, communications infrastructure protection, network security and reliability. In addition, the Policy Division oversees the licensing of spectrum for public safety entities (e.g., police and fire departments).

Public Communications Outreach & Operations Division – The Public Communications Outreach & Operations Division (PCOOD) is the lead bureau group responsible for coordinating the Commission’s emergency response procedures and operations. The Division coordinates the Commission’s public safety, homeland security, national security, disaster management, and related functions on a day-to-day basis. During incidents or emergencies PCOOD serves as the lead point of contact for all inter-governmental coordination activities with other Federal departments and agencies. The division will operate the Commission’s Communications Center (COMM-CTR) and High Frequency Direction Finding Capability (HFDFC) facilities.

Communications Systems Analysis Division – The Communications Systems Analysis Division (CSAD) administers the Commission’s information collection requirements (e.g., network outage reports) and performs analyses and studies concerning public safety, homeland security, emergency management and preparedness, disaster management and national security.

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