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Oakland Police Radios Failed During Obama's Visit To City

A protester yelling at a line of police officers guarding an intersection near a fundraiser for President Obama at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Monday.
A protester yelling at a line of police officers guarding an intersection near a fundraiser for President Obama at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Monday.

"A major portion of Oakland's troubled police radio system failed shortly after President Obama's visit on Monday, leaving many of the 100 officers assigned to handle presidential security unable to communicate as protesters roamed the streets, police said Wednesday," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

"It was a train wreck," Lt. Fred Mestas, who was on duty at the time, told the newspaper. The problems lasted about 30 minutes, he said. But, "when you have the president there, 30 seconds is too long."

The system was having problems both before, during and after the president's appearance at a fundraiser inside the city's Fox Theater, according to the Chronicle.

The Chronicle has previously reported about the "dead zones" that plague the Oakland police radio system, which cost $18 million and went into operation just last year. The failure of a cooling unit on a transmission tower is being blamed for Monday's problems.

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