Police radios failed during Obama visit to Calif.
President Obama greets people after arriving at Oakland International Airport in Oakland, Calif., July 23, 2012. / AP Photo
(CBS/AP) OAKLAND, Calif. - A major portion of Oakland's year-old police radio system failed during President Obama's visit to the city this week, in one what one lieutenant described as a "train wreck."
Many of the 100 Oakland officers assigned to handle presidential security were unable to communicate with the Police Department dispatch center for a time during Monday's presidential fundraiser at the Fox Theater.
Lt. Fred Mestas says that lasted about 30 minutes. He called the situation a "train wreck."
The radios failed altogether shortly after the president left.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the officers were unable to communicate as protesters roamed Oakland streets.
The failure was blamed on an overheated cooling unit in the Oakland hills, CBS San Francisco station KPIX-TV reports. The cooling unit was replaced Tuesday.
The radio system has been plagued by breakdowns and dead zones that have left officers' digital radios prone to blackouts across the city and in most commercial buildings.
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