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[TowerTalk] Local police and RFI problems

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Local police and RFI problems
From: (Bryan)
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 09:10:05 -0600
        Our local newspaper has just carried a story about
the police charging a local CB operator with criminal 
mischief because he was causing RFI to a neighbor's computer

        I talked with some of the folks that have been involved 
in this matter and it seems that the cb operator is getting
into various consumer electronic units in the neighborhood.
The neighbors have complained to the police who then checked 
with the city attorney's office.  I was given the report that
an assistant in the city attorney's office has authorized the
arrest of the cb operator on charges of criminal mischief.  The
police had then made an attempt to arrest the cb operator but 
he refused to give the police access to his home.  One of the 
people that I talked with said that the city attorney planned
to pursue charges against the cb'er on the basis of the new
law PENDING in Congress that would give local authorities some
degree of legal control over interference caused by CB operators.  

        It seems that a major factor involved in this situation is
that the cb operator uses a profanity which is being heard on the
various electronic units around the neighborhood.

        It is my understanding that the Communications Act of 1934
that set up the FCC also gave the FCC the EXCLUSIVE rights to deal 
with cases such as this one and the city has no authority legally to
get involved in this problem.  I do not condone in any way the CB'ers
use of profanity, but most law enforcement people don't know the 
difference in a amateur radio operator and a un-licensed CB operator.
I think the city could set a dangerous example if it starts to charge 
and arrest people in RFI cases when this may be an area that is totally
outside their jurisdiction.

        Comments, input, or suggestions would be appreciated.

Bryan Edwards W5KFT
Lubbock, Texas

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