Benjamin Holycross

Private Sector
Lee County, Florida
Polk County, Florida
Radio Services
White Papers
Disaster Response

Ben Holycross - Bio


·       Ben Holycross has been the Radio Systems Manager for Polk County Florida for the last 12  years. He has over 30 years in the Public Safety world including Law Enforcement and Emergency Management with the last 18 years in communications.


·       In his current position he was involved in the final design, construction , implementation and ongoing management of the Polk County Motorola 800 MHz SmartZone radio system. This system provides county-wide portable radio coverage in a county the size of the States of  Rhode Island or Delaware, some 2,200 square miles. Currently Polk County is completing a transition plan to migrate the radio system to an IP based P-25 system.


·       In addition to local operations he has developed a Disaster Communications Response unit capable of deploying to a disaster area and establishing full spectrum communications capability from HF to Sat-Com including a Land Mobile Radio 800 MHz Trunked radio system, VHF and UHF conventional radio system repeaters, Military radio Re-Trans capability, Telephone Key System, WiFi Hot Spot Access Point, Tactical LAN and a Mobile Radio Shop with programming and repair capability. 


·       Prior to coming to Polk County Ben was the Communications Director for Lee County and oversaw the Radio System, E-9-1-1 system, Fire and EMS Dispatch Center, County Telephone systems, and a Data Network. covering the five counties of the Judicial District and Cable TV franchises.


·       During his time in Lee County he built one of the first multi-agency trunked radio systems in the country, a new dispatch center and did Alpha and Beta testing before becoming the first Intergraph Computer Aided Dispatch system customer


·       Ben has been a member of the F.C.C. Region 9 800 MHz Committee since its inception sitting as Vice Chairman for the first seven years of the committees existence and is currently Chairman of Sub-Region 5 and serves a similar capacity on the F.C.C. Region 9 700 MHz Committee..


·       He has the distinction of being the only Radio System Manager to have had his system hit by 3 Hurricanes in one hurricane season. The Motorola SmartZone system which was hit three times in a six week period did not fail during any of the 3 Hurricanes.


·       During his communications career he has been involved in disaster responses on fires, tornado damage, flooding, as well as during:


o      Hurricane Andrew

o      Hurricane Opal

o      Hurricane Charlie

o      Hurricane Frances

o      Hurricane Ivan

o      Hurricane Jeanne

o      Hurricane Dennis

o      Hurricane Katrina

o      Hurricane Wilma




·       Ben is a member of:


o      The Motorola Trunked Users Group (MTUG)

o      The Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (A.P.C.O.)

o      The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)

o      Air Force Association (AFA)

o      The Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA)

o      U.S.A.F./CAP

o      Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

o      Mensa.