Almost 4 years after the filming of Parkland, flaws in the communication system persist


HOLLYWOOD, Florida – February will mark four years since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The communication system that had been promised to families would be repaired is still not fully in place.

Max Schachter lost his son Alex on that horrific day in 2018. He said that following the tragedy we learned of the failures and flaws in the county’s communications system.

“Lives are at stake here if there is another tragedy,” he said.

In Parkland, for example, if you dial 911, the call goes to Coral Springs and then to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, wasting crucial time.

The systems still do not communicate and Coral Springs remains on its own system.

“This is what we are trying to fix, and it should have been fixed already, and it isn’t,” Schachter said.

By all accounts, it is a matter of trust and friction between the county leaders.

At Tuesday’s MSD commission meeting, the Coral Springs Police Chief explained that they were considering what he called a hub solution to address the issue.

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“Look, I’m frustrated,” Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry said. “The problem is, we don’t know if it will work.

County administrator Bertha Henry said IT specialists from both sides will come together to make it happen.

“The system is in place,” she said. “It works. It has been tested.

Henry touted a new radio system and told the commission that the communications system worked overall, with 15 towers in place.

The 16th tower will be built on the site of West Lake Park in Hollywood, long opposed by the inhabitants of this neighborhood association.

“We lost the battle and we lost the war,” said Andy Houghton of the West Lake Village Homeowners Association.

Residents said if the county had chosen another site, the tower would have already been built.

“If safety was the issue, this tower would have been erected a year and a half ago,” Houghton said.

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