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Old 07-25-2014, 8:30 PM
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Default Winder, GA - Radio system to take at least 1 year to fix

WINDER, Ga. A countywide radio system plagued by problems will take at least a year to fix.

Radio system to take at least 1 year to fix
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Old 07-26-2014, 5:37 PM
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It's a bad time to be a taxpayer in Barrow county. Not even 2 years after the first race to waste trunking system goes in and the first payments are made, now ANOTHER system has to replace it?

Where is the ROI?

Why is NO ONE asking questions of ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES and MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS as to why their recommended system is a complete, and utter failure?

Why is NO ONE at Barrow county asking for a REFUND from their original consulting firm and vendor as named above?

Total incompetence...not just from the so-called "consultants" and vendor, but the elected officials who just write out blank checks.

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Old 07-27-2014, 12:29 PM
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Where to begin... Moto really really wanted to sell them a turbo system or to piggy back on Hall which Barrow rejected.

They then got a bargain on a astro demo system ( whatever that means ). The whole problem to me is they dealt with 1 vendor from day 1 and never really looked or listened to options.

If they wanted too keep those narrow band vhf channels why trunk or go digital ? They could have easily for the $ put up 3 towers and some receivers and simulcast the darn thing.

Perfect ? Not at all but better then what they have now. Just for the record none of these radio gurus in Jackson, Barrow, Banks ..White etc bothered to put out a blanket RFP and get feedback from Harris or any other vendor except Moto and Kenwood.

Big self inflicted mess.
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Old 07-27-2014, 5:13 PM
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I am just wondering MTS, if this system had been built by Harris, Kenwood/EFJ or Tait....would you still have the same feelings about this situation ?
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Old 07-27-2014, 6:57 PM
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I am just wondering MTS, if this system had been built by Harris, Kenwood/EFJ or Tait....would you still have the same feelings about this situation ?
If it doesn't work, then yes I'd have a problem with it. I have a problem when our tax money is squandered and we don't get what we pay for. There is no argument that when you pay $4 million dollars and change, you expect to get what you pay for. That did not happen. And now the process is rinse>repeat>cycle again. Unacceptable, no matter who the vendor is/was.

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Where to begin... Moto really really wanted to sell them a turbo system or to piggy back on Hall which Barrow rejected.

They then got a bargain on a astro demo system ( whatever that means ). The whole problem to me is they dealt with 1 vendor from day 1 and never really looked or listened to options.
They did, in fact, hire a well known consulting firm, Engineering Associates, during the RFP and procurement phase, so they did, in fact have a well known consultant on board during all stages of the project.

The real question is, what did EA recommend and did the customer and vendor follow EA's recommendation to the letter? Or did they deviate from the recommendations?

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Perfect ? Not at all but better then what they have now. Just for the record none of these radio gurus in Jackson, Barrow, Banks ..White etc bothered to put out a blanket RFP and get feedback from Harris or any other vendor except Moto and Kenwood.
Big self inflicted mess.
Better in what way? The county sheriff says they are so low on funds, he was going to run out of gas to fuel his patrol cars, and not enough food for inmates:

BOC votes 4-3 to give Sheriff needed funding

So, over 4 million dollars, which required a SPLOST (sales tax increase) to pay for this new radio system, which the officers who use it say, it does not work.

And now the entire process has to start over? Does this mean ANOTHER tax increase?

Like I said, bad time to be a public safety radio user and taxpayer in Barrow county.
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Old 07-27-2014, 8:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
. Unacceptable, no matter who the vendor is/was.


OK, thanks.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:46 PM
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Just a little background for those who don't know, before they bought their current "race-to-waste trunking system", they were using base-to-mobile simplex for fire and ems and there was one, maybe two repeaters for the sheriff. That's it. All in all, 2 or 3 channels. Very small city.
They rushed this system through and it even went live before they bothered to get a license for it. oops!
If it weren't for some loudmouths on the internet who started posting comments online on newspaper websites about that, they probably wouldn't have ever got a license for it. The coordination is poor. Their control channel is on the same frequency that another large, very busy agency uses for dispatch on analog conventional. That agency is about 40 miles away. So if there was some engineering study done, it's probably safe to say it was ignored.
They're using more frequencies now than they had before and I seriously doubt they use any more talkgroups than they did before. So none of this made sense from the very start.
If they're going to spend another dime on this, they're out of their ever loving minds.
The sheriff has had to beg and fight for gas money to put in his patrol cars and to feed jail inmates. Barrow county needs to be brought under investigation by the feds. Every single transaction and every decision maker should be audited. This stinks to high heaven.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:06 PM
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Another digital system bites the dust. Third one I've heard of this month.

Barrow County Public Safety System Trunking System, Winder, Georgia - Scanner Frequencies
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Old 07-28-2014, 7:57 PM
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Can't afford gas for cruisers, have multi million dollar DTRS system the doesn't work, Sounds like America.
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Old 07-30-2014, 3:35 PM
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I have no idea what happened here, but... A big problem you have in business, is that... People claim they want advice. They claim they want to know how to do something right, and by all means... You just tell them what to do and how to do it, and they'll get right on it. And then the second you actually tell them how to do something, you get... "Oh, OK... But can't we do it this way? That's less money". And then you say... "No, that probably won't work very well, and I can't recommend it". Then the customer usually starts referring to some other random person, who supposedly "knows all about this field", and "they told us we really don't need to do all that". Usually this mystery 'expert' , is just somebody's friend or something. But because those people told them what the customer wants to hear... That they CAN in fact do it for less... Then they just side with them. You also tend to get one story from one person, then something else from another. When something starts, you get the top guy basically telling you that the sky is the limit, and you get the big positive speech about how great this will be. Then two days later, you're dealing with some dingbat in 'purchasing', who does business like they're shopping for a deal on laundry detergent.

So it's sort of like... 'Yes, we absolutely want you to tell us how to do this... As long as you tell us to do it the way WE want to do it'. So after a while, the consultant just gives up.
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Old 07-31-2014, 1:17 PM
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Sounds to me like one of two things. Either "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" OR "Keeping up with the Joneses". Either way, Barrow County has a multi-million dollar "UH-OH" on their hands
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Old 08-01-2014, 6:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 12dbsinad View Post
Can't afford gas for cruisers, have multi million dollar DTRS system the doesn't work, Sounds like America.
Lends a new meaning to the old saying:

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"You may outrun the motor, but you can't outrun the Motorola."
Well, maybe now you can outrun both.
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Old 08-02-2014, 2:47 PM
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Knowing some of the background behind this, it is not surprising. A series of bad decisions by people who didn't know or care, followed by broken promises and contract irregularities by the vendor produced a system that is sub-par to say the least. And this is from someone who has used this system.

There are people who are trying to fix it that understand public safety communications systems but are stymied from above by greed and incompetence. But as I have learned, this seems to be the norm there. BTY, for those who don't know Tusa Consulting is a crony of the current county manager and is dragging out the "consulting" for as much $$$ as they can get. They have already run through the first 50 or 60 k initially given to them by the BOC the first time.

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Old 08-03-2014, 2:55 AM
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Knowing some of the background behind this, it is not surprising. A series of bad decisions by people who didn't know or care, followed by broken promises and contract irregularities by the vendor produced a system that is sub-par to say the least. And this is from someone who has used this system.

There are people who are trying to fix it that understand public safety communications systems but are stymied from above by greed and incompetence. But as I have learned, this seems to be the norm there. BTY, for those who don't know Tusa Consulting is a crony of the current county manager and is dragging out the "consulting" for as much $$$ as they can get. They have already run through the first 50 or 60 k initially given to them by the BOC the first time.
Sounds like a great time for the local news media to start asking "tough questions".

I find it interesting that EA is being dumped from the project for Tusa, and if your allegations can be proven, this is very serious.

EA has a proven track record with many agencies throughout the state, region and country. If their recommendations were signed off on and not followed, and back door deals made, then a crime has been committed.

But then, if no one asks questions, demands an honest and independent investigation, then nothing will change.

Meanwhile, as I said before, it is a bad time to be a Barrow county public safety worker and taxpayer. BOHICA.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post
Sounds like a great time for the local news media to start asking "tough questions".

I find it interesting that EA is being dumped from the project for Tusa, and if your allegations can be proven, this is very serious.

EA has a proven track record with many agencies throughout the state, region and country. If their recommendations were signed off on and not followed, and back door deals made, then a crime has been committed.

But then, if no one asks questions, demands an honest and independent investigation, then nothing will change.

Meanwhile, as I said before, it is a bad time to be a Barrow county public safety worker and taxpayer. BOHICA.
I have seen the contract and the questionable billing from Tusa. I also know that a former county employee made arbitrary changes to the original radio system contract without BOC approval of those changes. An inventory of the radios was way above what was agreed to be purchased, etc.

I can go on and on but it seems no one cares. This leaves a county public safety department with a sub-par system. The fire dept. has to still use the old VHF system to tone out the stations because the old and new systems are incompatible with the tone system. So each station has two base radios so at night they can get some sleep if other stations are toned. Some personnel carry Minitor IV pagers during the day to hear their calls.

The RF coverage maps are a complete joke! Even if you're in the sheriffs dept. you can't get HT coverage, and that's in town! Walmart, Target, etc are the same. I know of at least two incidents where PD needed backup IN WINDER PROPER and could not hit the repeater. Citizens had to call 911 to get backup for them.

The people who understand what is needed have already made their recommendations but yet another consulting company is needed? Another $200,000 needs to be spent so a buddy of the county manager (Tusa) can say the same thing EA said? Meanwhile the good people of Barrow county get the shaft yet again.
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Old 08-03-2014, 2:09 PM
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I have seen the contract and the questionable billing from Tusa. I also know that a former county employee made arbitrary changes to the original radio system contract without BOC approval of those changes. An inventory of the radios was way above what was agreed to be purchased, etc.

I can go on and on but it seems no one cares. This leaves a county public safety department with a sub-par system. The fire dept. has to still use the old VHF system to tone out the stations because the old and new systems are incompatible with the tone system. So each station has two base radios so at night they can get some sleep if other stations are toned. Some personnel carry Minitor IV pagers during the day to hear their calls.

The RF coverage maps are a complete joke! Even if you're in the sheriffs dept. you can't get HT coverage, and that's in town! Walmart, Target, etc are the same. I know of at least two incidents where PD needed backup IN WINDER PROPER and could not hit the repeater. Citizens had to call 911 to get backup for them.

The people who understand what is needed have already made their recommendations but yet another consulting company is needed? Another $200,000 needs to be spent so a buddy of the county manager (Tusa) can say the same thing EA said? Meanwhile the good people of Barrow county get the shaft yet again.
Does the new system utilize the same site(s) as the old conventional repeaters the SO used to use? How was the RF coverage with the old? Was any testing even done before being brought fully online?
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Old 08-04-2014, 9:14 PM
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Does the new system utilize the same site(s) as the old conventional repeaters the SO used to use? How was the RF coverage with the old? Was any testing even done before being brought fully online?
I don't know much about the previous conventional system. I do know that they added a new tower when the new 911 center/FD headquarters was built. The VHF analog simulcast of the FD has much better coverage than the current digital system. However, the analog system has no mic's on the radios. The current system has 3 towers connected via microwave. The coverage in Stataham, Auburn and Bethlehem is spotty at best.

I'm sure it was tested but I get the vibe that it was pushed through by the former county employee regardless of the results. The good news is that this radio fiasco was his ultimate undoing.
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Old 08-05-2014, 4:01 AM
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I don't know much about the previous conventional system. I do know that they added a new tower when the new 911 center/FD headquarters was built. The VHF analog simulcast of the FD has much better coverage than the current digital system. However, the analog system has no mic's on the radios. The current system has 3 towers connected via microwave. The coverage in Stataham, Auburn and Bethlehem is spotty at best.
My understanding, which comes from someone who was directly involved with the current project (VHF Astro 25) is that there were coverage tests done, mobile coverage tests, using industry standard methods, and the county signed off on them and got exactly what they wanted.

My understanding after reviewing many publicly available documents and information from the same source was the project was supposed to be a three phase approach to replacing their existing wideband analog system.
Phase 1 was to narrowband their conventional analog, Phase 2 was to migrate to P25 digital conventional, then add trunking at some point in the future when funds permitted.

Of course someone got it up their butts that they WANTED 700/800 trunking RIGHT NOW, despite the money not being there in the budget. As is often the case with corrupt governments, they find money where there is none (usually by re-allocating it or, in this case, adding it in on a SPLOST and extorting it from taxpayers).

Then, those who have been named in this thread, a backroom deal was made with the vendor to procure the system using this new found funding, and they skipped phase 1 and 2 and went right to phase 3.

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I'm sure it was tested but I get the vibe that it was pushed through by the former county employee regardless of the results. The good news is that this radio fiasco was his ultimate undoing.
Yeah, and I am sure that sleazebag is enjoying the payola he/she is getting from the vendor and his/her buddy at the new consulting firm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVA1xRrWBuk

So sad that no one seems to care enough to call for an investigation and find out where their stolen $4million of SPLOST money went. Oh well, there is another $4million available in that 2011 SPLOST out of the $8millon available that I am SURE the new consultant and same vendor will enjoy soaking the Barrow county taxpayer for again.

Something tells me that was their plan all along. Proving it is another story.
Sad that no one cares. But reporting on puff pieces is more important, as is blaming the White House for everything, for people to notice what is really going on.

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While the Master was riding the Servants decided to play
Something's wrong in this House today
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Something unrighteous is possessing my soul
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Something's wrong in this House today
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Something's wrong in this House today
Something's been going on there may be a price to pay.
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Old 08-15-2014, 8:22 PM
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If the VHF trunked system isn't working properly, what is Barrow County using for radio communications - their former conventional channels?

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Old 08-16-2014, 8:07 AM
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If the VHF trunked system isn't working properly, what is Barrow County using for radio communications - their former conventional channels?
They're still using their race-to-waste DTRS.
I think they probably hocked their old equipment so they could get gas money for their police cruiser.
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