After $350 million, law enforcement wireless network success still “doubtful”

Status
Not open for further replies.

Thunderbolt

Global Database Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 23, 2001
Messages
6,926
Location
Ann Arbor, Michigan
WASHINGTON -- A new report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General finds DOJ has spent $350 million on developing an integrated wireless network that has “yet to achieve the results intended,” and that after 10 years of trying “its success is doubtful.” This stunning assessment comes a decade after the 9-11 tragedy highlighted a lack of coordination and effective communication between law enforcement and first responders, and spurred a commitment to fix the problem.

After $350 million, law enforcement wireless network success still “doubtful” - ABC News
 

jackj

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
1,548
Location
NW Ohio
I'm still not convinced that digital makes sense for narrow-band two-way radio communication. But I'll bet that a lot of their problems are generated by government paper pusher 'experts' sticking their nose in and putting their mark on it. There should be a law that once a contract is awarded it can not be changed, only canceled.
 

WAScanMan

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
160
Location
Thurston County, WA
After reading though this it makes me wonder, what was Washington State Patrol thinking when they decided to merge with this system in Washington state. Why would a state-wide agency want to invest their time and money into a "failing" radio system.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
110
Location
Vancouver, WA
I seriously suspect that no one breached the subject of issues related to this. I doubt that the Inspector General's report was made public by then. Remember that the terms and conditions of the contract were not made public until after they were signed. While that's not unusual where proprietary information is involved, they might have counted on that fact, along with others related to the secrecy of the process, to keep information from public as well as our elected representatives. When in doubt, obfuscate. There have been a number of articles posted here, mostly from technical or sales journals, but this one is a news blog. I would hope that someone in Olympia would take note, but I'm not going to count on it.

My problem with this (laying aside the encryption issue, which I still believe is nothing but hiding agency's actions) is that the technological level of this sytem is completely unwarranted for the road troopers. That same technology is apparentlywhat keeps the system from reaching fruition. I simply cannot believe that somehow this is more "thrifty" than building upon the system we have in place to narrowband; even if we also go digital. It bogles my simple mind to think we will spend less on hybrid trunking along with mixed modes in various areas. I mean REALLY???!!!

Maybe it's me, but someone should bring these issues with the IWN to the attention of those in Olympia.
 

c5corvette

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
703
Location
*REBANDED*
After reading though this it makes me wonder, what was Washington State Patrol thinking when they decided to merge with this system in Washington state. Why would a state-wide agency want to invest their time and money into a "failing" radio system.
Becasue its not failing - the partnership in the NorthWest is the flagship and was built as an IWN prototype so to speak. As a regional system in that area, it works very very well in Washington and Oregon and everyone there is very pleased with it. What you are reading about is the ability to launch the same project model and connect regional IWN systems nationwide - thats what failed. The IWN on the west coast is about a robust, mature, and successfull regional system as you will find.
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,554
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
The entire process of spec'ing, procuring and implementing public safety radio systems in this country is flawed.

Too often the decisions are made based solely on the puffery of a sole source vendor's misinformation.

And this type of "good old boy" way of doing business is why our country is in the can.

A select few hold all the gold, and make the rules- and the rest of the working stiffs are here to pay to keep the machine going.

We've spent billions of both state and Federal taxpayer dollars replacing radio systems across the country since 9/11/2001, and what exactly have we gotten?

Absolutely nothing, but thinner wallets, less firefighters and police on the street, and higher taxes.

One day we'll wake up and realize this way of doing business isn't going to cut it. Until then, it will be ripoffs as usual.

BOHICA...Bend Over Here It Comes..AGAIN.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
187
Location
brianearlspilner
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.3; en-us; DROID2 GLOBAL Build/4.5.1_57_D2G-38) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

MTS2000des said:
The entire process of spec'ing, procuring and implementing public safety radio systems in this country is flawed.

Too often the decisions are made based solely on the puffery of a sole source vendor's misinformation.

And this type of "good old boy" way of doing business is why our country is in the can.

A select few hold all the gold, and make the rules- and the rest of the working stiffs are here to pay to keep the machine going.

We've spent billions of both state and Federal taxpayer dollars replacing radio systems across the country since 9/11/2001, and what exactly have we gotten?

Absolutely nothing, but thinner wallets, less firefighters and police on the street, and higher taxes.

One day we'll wake up and realize this way of doing business isn't going to cut it. Until then, it will be ripoffs as usual.

BOHICA...Bend Over Here It Comes..AGAIN.
We gotten some encryption I'll tell you what.
 

ChrisP

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 20, 2002
Messages
1,140
Location
Portland, OR
Becasue its not failing - the partnership in the NorthWest is the flagship and was built as an IWN prototype so to speak. As a regional system in that area, it works very very well in Washington and Oregon and everyone there is very pleased with it. What you are reading about is the ability to launch the same project model and connect regional IWN systems nationwide - thats what failed. The IWN on the west coast is about a robust, mature, and successfull regional system as you will find.
This is correct. The IWN "testbed" system in the Pacific Northwest is in daily use and not "failing". The failings with the IWN project are not with the hardware or the system itself, but the political and inter-agency dealings that have kept the IWN from reaching the intended users. The criticisms in the OAG report are about the DoJ and other agencies STILL using old, legacy, non P-25 radio systems. Plus the difficulties in getting agencies from DoJ, Treasury and DHS together on anything like this...

BTW, these are the same criticisms that the OAG had in their last report on the IWN project, so not much has changed...

- Chris
 
Last edited:

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,835
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
A failure of any type is still a failure. Grossly overpriced radios is one of the issues that some agencies are still using the legacy radios. What many fail to understand is that while P25 is a pretty cool set up, the cost of the radios is keeping many agencies, especially smaller locals, from being able to access these systems. There is a limited amount of grant money out there, and public safety agencies have a lot of demands they have to meet with a limited budget.

This is sort of like tearing up all the roads in a state, building brand new ones, and then requiring anyone who wants to drive on a road, no matter if its an ambulance, fire truck, police car, etc, to purchase a brand new car that just happens to cost 5 times the cost of the older, but perfectly usable car they were using before.

Yes, we need to upgrade public safety radio systems. Yes, P25 might be the answer today, but likely that will change in the next 10 years when these agencies will be required to buy all new equipment again.

12.5KHz analog VHF is pretty dang interoperable, and I can buy 2 to 3 very good radios for the price of one P25 radio, and many more for the price of a p25 multi band radio. Not saying that these high end systems are wrong, I'm saying that we need to be realistic about our expectations. One of the biggest issues we have is user training. I feel that a lot of the interoperability issues could be solved with better user training, rather than trying to solve the issue with high priced radios.

Nomex suit on, flame away....
 

WAScanMan

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
160
Location
Thurston County, WA
Becasue its not failing - the partnership in the NorthWest is the flagship and was built as an IWN prototype so to speak. As a regional system in that area, it works very very well in Washington and Oregon and everyone there is very pleased with it. What you are reading about is the ability to launch the same project model and connect regional IWN systems nationwide - thats what failed. The IWN on the west coast is about a robust, mature, and successfull regional system as you will find.
This is correct. The IWN "testbed" system in the Pacific Northwest is in daily use and not "failing". The failings with the IWN project are not with the hardware or the system itself, but the political and inter-agency dealings that have kept the IWN from reaching the intended users. The criticisms in the OAG report are about the DoJ and other agencies STILL using old, legacy, non P-25 radio systems. Plus the difficulties in getting agencies from DoJ, Treasury and DHS together on anything like this...

BTW, these are the same criticisms that the OAG had in their last report on the IWN project, so not much has changed...

- Chris
Thank you both for your input. It makes more sense to me now. Sometimes I really hate the way that major media outlets word things. From what I can tell the IWN works great for the people who use it. ENC TGIDs stay ENC 99% of the time. (Which sucks for us scanner guys but good for the person(s) utilizing the system) I'm not happy about the WSP switch over. I guess I just saw this article as a small glimmer of hope that they'd reconsider.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top