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460.4000 r/s Tac 2
460.4500 r   Tac 3
460.4250 r   Command Channel
460.2750 r/s Special Ops Div
460.3250 r   Citywide 1
458.3500 s   SOD ERT Surv 1 (Astro)
458.7000 s   SOD Surveillance 2
465.0000 s   SOD ERT Surv 3 (Astro)
453.3125 s   Citywide Surv 1
458.3125 s   Citywide Surv 2

For those of you who are not within listening range of Washington, Penguin Radio plans to simulcast 460.275 and 460.25 onto the Internet:


The District fire/EMS department has fully implemented its digital Motorola trunked radio system.  You might want to keep an ear on the VHF channels just in case (simulcasts will hopefully continue on 154.19).  System frequencies are as follows: 852.6125, 852.6375, 852.6625, 852.6875, 852.7125, 852.7375, 852.7625, 852.7875, 855.2125, 855.2375, 855.4625, 856.9875, 857.9875, 858.9875, 859.9875 and 860.9875.

The department earmarked three talkgroups for special events, which were used heavily during the inauguration, they are: 2096, 2112 and 2128 (all digital).  The COG and national mutual aid channels are programmed in all department radios (see the mutual aid section below).

154.1900 r/s CH1/5 Dispatch (now main simulcast)
154.2350 s   CH2 EMS Coordination (now trunked)
154.2050 s   CH4 Fireground (now trunked)


EMA uses digital talkgroups on the same trunked system as D.C. fire/EMS but in the 33000-34000 range.  EMA supposedly retained its former channels, 45.6 and 45.56, for special events because of the abundance of old inexpensive radios.  33712, 33840, 33872 and 34448 were among those non-fire/EMS talkgroups active during the inauguration.

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Lindsay, who was accused of killing an undercover MSP trooper in October.  Other likely possibilities for MSP use in D.C. include 155.475 (NLEEF) and 155.73/151.475 (mobile repeater).  More unlikely possibilities are the low-band tactical channels, 39.24, 39.62, 39.66 and 39.92.

For Virginia state troopers, monitor 154.665 (tactical), 39.54 (SIRS), 154.695 (surveillance) and 458.35 (mobile repeater).  154.68 , usually reserved for the governor's detail in Richmond, could be pressed into service.  VSP aircraft (both helicopter and fixed wing), based at Manassas could be employed.  They operate on the regular VSP channels.

Pennsylvania State Police probably will use 154.755 as officers did during the inauguration.  Other simplex possibilities for PSP chatter include: 151.49, 154.905, 155.445, 155.46, 155.475, 155.79, 156.15 and 159.03.

We were unable to identify the users of 154.68 and 154.71 during the inauguration.  Please help!

D.C. police also expect to call suburban law enforcement agencies, such as those in Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Arlington could easily remain on its own trunked system, especially if officers standby to guard the bridges as they did during the last protests.  Alexandria and Fairfax County civil disturbance units will probably be on standby as well.  Fairfax County's command bus has an analog repeater system on 867.975 and police portable radios use COG-1 and COG-2 in digital mode (simplex) as talkarounds.  Alexandria PD's conventional channel is 866.95.

Montgomery County will probably use 495.3625, although other possibilities include 490.4375, 490.5875, 490.7125, 494.4625 and 495.3875.  Prince George's County police had used 494.9375 during the inauguration, but could just as easily use 494.8875 or 494.7375.


163.1, 168.35, 408.4, 418.05, 418.075, and 418.575 are intermittent wide-area transient and common-use frequencies available for use on a shared basis by all US Government agencies.  All six frequencies are used in Washington with multiple agencies sharing each frequency.

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Capitol Police channel usage varies from day to day.  The department tends to use the first three channels for routine dispatch operations, and its last two for specialized units, command & staff and personal protection.  The Capitol Police equivalent of a SWAT unit is called CERT (Containment and Emergency Response Team).  The department has a First Responder Unit (FRU) that responds to emergencies, and a Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU).

169.2250 r/s CH1/6
165.5375 r/s CH2/7
170.1750 r/s CH3/8
162.2500 r/s CH4/9
162.6125 r/s CH5/10


This is a Motorola trunked radio system popular among federal/military agencies in downtown Washington, D.C. including various museums, the National Archives, FDA, GSA, NDW, Bolling AFB, etc.  Some of these facilities may be targeted by activists.  The Smithsonian is starting to make much more use of this system, slowly leaving its old security channel, 169.2.  The National Gallery of Art security remains on 406.55.

406.8500 Control/Voice
408.4500 Control/Voice
408.7000 Control/Voice
408.9000 Control/Voice
406.2500 Voice Only
406.7500 Voice Only
409.7500 Voice Only
410.3750 Voice Only
Rx 406.1 (start); Channel Spacing 25 KHz


The FCC was actively involved during the April 2000 protests pursuing a pirate broadcaster (one popped up downtown on 97.5).  Also of concern were threats that activists would interfere with public safety radio channels.  Much of the traffic on the commission's 167.05 repeater was encrypted.  Keep an ear on 97.5 and check the sites below for related pirate radio news.


FEMA has placed the Fairfax County Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) team on "alert status" for the event.  Although the team will hopefully not fully deploy, we perhaps may hear a few of them chatting while in staging locations.  We've combed through several USAR channel plans from various teams and have posted the commonly used frequencies below.  Those appearing in the second column are inputs.  The first column may be either simplex or repeated if an input is listed.  Many of these channels are used by other agencies in Washington.  The Fairfax County team will likely have Fairfax County trunked radios too.

408.4000 418.0500
412.6750 406.4000
413.1250 418.1250
418.0500 408.4000
418.6000 408.4500


The FPS digitized its primary radio system in November 2000.  Additional frequencies are used at specific sites as well as those used by contractors.

415.2000 r/s CH1 & CH3 FPS (Astro)
417.2000 r/s CH2 & CH4 FPS (Astro)
414.4750 r/s CH5 & CH6 FPS (Astro)


The medical teams, a newcomer to special events in Washington, have used both channels during recent events in the city.  They often employ an analog scrambling system.  The D.C. Metropolitan Medical Strike

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Team (MMST) also uses talkgroup 34096 on Arlington County's trunked system and sometimes one of the national or COG channels for on-scene coordination.  MMST may use other Arlington County talkgroups for secondary communication.

The Public Health Service NDMS DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) in Rockville is known as PHS-1.  Some of the MMSTs are now called NMRTs (National Medical Response Teams).  These NMRTs are MMSTs that are deployable outside of their region.  The D.C. team is called an NMRT but is not intended to deploy in that fashion.

407.1250 r
409.0000 r

These medical teams have a bunch of related acronyms, for details see:

DOI-US Park Police (NPS)

166.7250 r/s CH1/6 Secondary
166.9250 r/s CH2/7 Dispatch
167.0750 r/s CH3/8 Administrative
166.8500 s   CH4 Tactical
The US Park Police Helicopter(s)--Eagle--will undoubtedly be in use.  They communicate with ground units on the normal channels and with Reagan National Tower on 120.75.


Various elements of the seemingly omnipresent FBI will back-up MPD and specialized technical services.  The Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and various counter-intelligence elements will be out and about to both gather information and provide MPD with information from worldwide sources on the participating groups.

Undoubtedly, the Hostage Negotiation Team(s) and the Emergency Response Teams will be on alert and on call from the FBI Academy at Quantico.  Security around the J. Edgar Hoover building and the Department of Justice headquarters will be enhanced.  Almost all FBI radio transmissions in the Washington area are encrypted. 

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normally used by USMS, is not generally in use in the DC area for technical reasons.

163.0000 r/s Primary Operations
162.7875 r/s Alternate Operations
162.7125 r/s Protective Operations
162.8750 r/s Protective Operations
170.8750 s   Tactical 1
170.9250 s   Tactical 2
170.7500 s   Court Security


The State Department, including its Washington Field Office (WFO), will be busy providing security for foreign official visitors, except heads of state and/or government.  (They are protected by the Secret Service.)

411.4250 r/s Secretary Detail
417.8500 r/s Dignitary Protection
411.0750 s   Agent-to-Agent
409.1500 s   Agent-to-Agent
415.9000 s   Agent-to-Agent/Dulles Ch
408.6000 s   Building Security
418.4500 r/s WFO Protection
409.6250 s   WFO Motor Pool (sedans)
164.1250 s   Motor Pool (general)
168.2250 s   Admin & Maintenance

One may find the State Department, Secret Service or an allied agency using additional frequencies.  Some of these ad hoc channels used in Washington in the past have included: 166.0625, 166.8, 167.0, 168.1, 168.2, 168.725, 168.975, 169.1, 169.45, 169.55, 169.7, 169.75, 170.1 and 173.625.  They were discovered during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin visits and the NATO summit.


The BATF will provide substantial support to MPD, albeit in the background.  BATF agents will be brought in from across the country and the laboratory in Rockville will be on alert.  BATF brings unique expertise in firearms, explosives and arson handling, disarming, and investigation.  Agents provided the bomb experts, for example, at the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings.  Almost all of the bureau's radio transmissions are encrypted.

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The Capitol Hill Monitor

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