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Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, To Oversee Volunteer Monitors:

from The ARRL Letter on February 14, 2019
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Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, To Oversee Volunteer Monitors Development and Implementation:

Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, will oversee the development and implementation phases of ARRL's new Volunteer Monitors (VM) program, which will replace the Official Observers (OO) program. Hollingsworth, who once handled Amateur Radio enforcement for the FCC, has stepped down as ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. The development phase of the program is already under way.

"I am grateful for the Atlantic Division ARRL members supporting me, but I think I can better serve the Atlantic Division and all ARRL divisions by working in the Volunteer Monitors program," Hollingsworth said in his resignation letter. A new Atlantic Division Vice Director will be appointed.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said that Hollingsworth was the ideal person to lead ARRL's efforts in the development and implementation of this joint program with the FCC.

"I support Riley's decision to concentrate his efforts on this very valuable project on behalf of the ARRL," Roderick said.

Approved by the ARRL Board of Directors last July, the Volunteer Monitors will work in cooperation with the FCC. Volunteers trained and vetted by ARRL will monitor the amateur bands for possible instances of misconduct or to recognize exemplary on-air operation. Cases of flagrant violations or noncompliance will be directed to the FCC for action, in accordance with FCC guidelines. The program, which aims to re-energize Amateur Radio enforcement efforts, was proposed by the FCC following the closure of several FCC regional offices and reductions in field staff.

Hollingsworth has identified three phases to the program -- development, solicitation and training, and implementation. The development phase will include drafting a mission statement, clearly defining ARRL's and the FCC's requirements and needs as part of the program, drafting a Volunteer Manager job description, and developing a training manual for volunteers.

The solicitation and training phase will involve identifying the geographical locations where volunteer monitors will be most needed, soliciting applications, and screening applicants. Current Official Observers will be invited to apply for appointment as Volunteer Monitors (VMs). The ARRL Board has expressed its appreciation to the OOs for their dedicated volunteer service over the years.

Implementation will involve having the volunteers provide field reports, and ARRL staff offering guidance to volunteers to ensure that the information gathered meets FCC requirements. Continuing education will be provided to the volunteers as part of the program.

Hollingsworth has committed to ensure training adequacy for new VMs, to review the quality and utility of Volunteer Monitor submissions to the FCC for enforcement action, and to advocate for rapid disposition of cases appropriately submitted to the FCC.

ARRL officials estimate that it will take 9 - 12 months before the first Volunteer Monitors begin filing reports.


The ARRL Letter

Member Comments:
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Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, To Oversee Volunteer Monitors:  
by AB5S on February 15, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Lovely. Let's build a radio "Secret Police" of 80-year-olds which, like all such organizations, will soon corrupt into a "good'ol boys" club which persecutes anyone who disagrees with their political opinions and petty "issues." I can't wait to watch the "Mode Enforcers" target the AM operators for "running that old obsolete mode" ( conveniently forgetting that SSB has been around since the 1920s). Just one of many ways this thing is going to go North quickly. It won't survive the first serious legal challenge.
Dave S.

RE: Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, To Oversee Volunteer Monitor  
by K8TE on February 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I hope you will withhold your opinion of this plan until you see the full details. For example, current OO's will not be grandfathered but need to re-apply for appointment and must go through a training process.

The FCC can't be bothered with this necessary function. Volunteer Monitors can be the necessary ears. Success will only come from an effective ARRL-FCC interface and the willingness of the FCC with the Department of Justice's cooperation to enforce part 97.
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