Region of Waterloo Picks Motorola for new radio system

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SCPD

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Waterloo Region is supposed to be rolling out a new digital radio system this year. Has anyone seen or heard any updates since the November 2013 article in the Waterloo Region Record?
 

SCPD

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No nothing new. Expect a P25 system and almost certainly encrypted.
Expect it to come to life starting in the spring through the summer and to be a 100% encrypted system like Hamilton for all users not just police. They spec'd out a fully encrypted system with every component for every user to be able to handle AES-256 and they want to be fully interoperable with the Brantford P25 system as well.

They are also adding more users who currently are not on the existing regional system. New Harris radios are already installed in all the GRT buses, I think they are working on the other services now. Couple of weeks ago I heard some snow plow drivers talking about how the new radios are worth more than some of the older plow trucks and how they are becoming the "secret snow service", they were having a good laugh about it.
 

69stiles

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Yes it's true They did spec out a fully encrypted system & it will have the capabilities of being encrypted but none of the users are expected to actually go fully encrypted. The Police will still just encrypt sensitive comms for now. None of the Fire talkgroups will be encrypted. If there is a cheap way of doing things, it will be done here in Waterloo Region
 

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The Region is wasting over $1B on an LRT which is not needed and yet they can't handle garbage collection etc.
 

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From the spec I read (that was posted here a while back) basically all the new radios will be DES & AES *equipped*. Which of the groups will use it is the million $$ question. Police will for sure...and hopefully that's it. On the other EDACS systems that Harris has swapped out around here (London, Brantford) only PD is running encryption. Hopefully they keep it that way.
 

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I started listening to the police in Waterloo County in 1971 with a multiband radio. Last summer I sold my scanners in anticipation of this new system. If the police are going to be encrypted, what's the point?
 

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Depends what's left... London Police have been encrypted for 20 years yet there is still some good listening in the city.
 

gary123

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I agree with Forts. Encryption does not mean the end of monitoring. Services like fire and ambulance are obvious but local works, hydro and transit often provide info on activity going on in the city. I also monitor the 2 local malls and the in house hospital system. About all I miss is the traffic stops and even then if they block transit I hear about them too.
 

69stiles

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I heard the only requirement for needing encrypted radios was so the WRPS could be interoperable with Guelph as they sometimes call on each others Canine services. Hope that is correct & of course lots can change by the time this goes live next year
 

terryg1

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Saw my buddy on the long weekend who is a firefighter in the region. He basically said what mrozitis said. Fire will be encrypted because they cant share details over the air due to online scanners and no MDTs in fire trucks. The low grade encryption is free on radios now though. Will be sad to see the last analog system go in the GTA.

Update I could find:

http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/resources/af/fa2016-0614.pdf
 

Forts

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I've been a firefighter for a while, and have been friends with numerous ones most of my life. And if experience has shown me anything it's that most guys know squat about the radio system, the technology or much else about it. Turn the radio on and talk, that's what they care about. Yes KW does run medical calls but very little patient info is transmitted over the air, and online streaming isn't nearly the issue that it is for police.

Off the top of my head Hamilton is the only encrypted fire agency in SWO. There just isn't a big need for it or the expense.
 

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I've been a firefighter for a while, and have been friends with numerous ones most of my life. And if experience has shown me anything it's that most guys know squat about the radio system, the technology or much else about it. Turn the radio on and talk, that's what they care about. Yes KW does run medical calls but very little patient info is transmitted over the air, and online streaming isn't nearly the issue that it is for police.

Off the top of my head Hamilton is the only encrypted fire agency in SWO. There just isn't a big need for it or the expense.
Guelph is 100% encrypted and off to the east Kingston is and Waterloo region will be soon. New radios going in now but in analog mode.
 

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Saw my buddy on the long weekend who is a firefighter in the region. He basically said what mrozitis said. Fire will be encrypted because they cant share details over the air due to online scanners and no MDTs in fire trucks. The low grade encryption is free on radios now though. Will be sad to see the last analog system go in the GTA.

Update I could find:

http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/regionalgovernment/resources/af/fa2016-0614.pdf
The command of the new system is now in the hands of the police chief as well and it's the same police chief that had Guelph police and fire fully encrypted and he took great pride in that when he was in Guelph.

The new Waterloo system is 100% encrypted, all infrastructure, all users, all the times and that is why the changes to the in building coverage testing. It apparently will be like Hamilton with everything from the little sidewalk snowplow to the emergency services 100% encrypted. They did spec out three options I believe and all three mandate full encryption at AES-256 bit but one of the options allows for low-level ADP encryption for a link with Brantford police. It's done, I saw Harris radios being installed last August and I am sure most have the new hardware by now....can't confirm tho.

It's not just the illegal online streaming, they could trace that back if they really wanted to and shut it down but there is a CTV news station and Waterloo record newspaper and the chief is not a fan of media. Media relations ceased to exist once he took over. Just not his thing.
 

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The new Waterloo system is 100% encrypted, all infrastructure, all users, all the times and that is why the changes to the in building coverage testing. It apparently will be like Hamilton with everything from the little sidewalk snowplow to the emergency services 100% encrypted.
I don't see how any of us can make that statement when all we have is RFPs and hearsay

They did spec out three options I believe and all three mandate full encryption at AES-256 bit but one of the options allows for low-level ADP encryption for a link with Brantford police. It's done, I saw Harris radios being installed last August and I am sure most have the new hardware by now....can't confirm tho.
Brantford is AES, no need for ADP there. And Guelph is DES-XL which Harris doesn't support. New radios already installed doesn't mean anything, they can be flash upgraded in the future. Look at Chatham Kent police... they are using new hardware but still running Provoice.
 

mikewazowski

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Does Harris even support ADP?

I'm not even sure why they would have a link with Brantford anyways? Their areas don't even border on one another.
 

SCPD

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Does Harris even support ADP?

I'm not even sure why they would have a link with Brantford anyways? Their areas don't even border on one another.
Not sure if Harris supports ADP but in the RFP it mentions in all three options for basically linking the Waterloo system to the Brantford system which I too thought was odd since Waterloo always shared resources with Guelph and the police chief is the former chief of Guelph.

Something changed and they don't even talk about Guelph anymore in the revised documents, it's only Brantford. Probably just that police chief's personal preferences, maybe there was a falling out with the current brass at Guelph.
 
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