The U.S. Commerce Department suspended funding for the Los Angeles County emergency communications system.
A system is being created to coordinate police and firefighters communications in L.A. County during major emergencies, reported the LA Times. But firefighters and others oppose placement of the system's cell towers, the report said.
The project is named the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority, known as LA-RICS, and it is intended to allow every police man or woman and firefighter in the county to communicate during major emergencies such as an earthquake or terrorist attack.
The department's decision gives LA-RICS until April 13 to submit an amended project plan, which county officials said they would do.
The federal grant was to pay for 80% of the work on the data system, with the county and cities paying the rest, said the LA Times report. \
Officials had been racing to complete by a Sept. 30 deadline the first phase of the two-part project, which involves building a network of towers to transmit data to public safety agencies. A separate radio communications system is planned and cities who joined in the project are to share the operating costs of the whole system.