Seminole County,Florida Public Safety Radio System

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Dec 7, 2010
Volusia County, Florida
Hello, Everyone Not sure if anyone has yet to post this; I looked and could not fine it so here it is.

As we all know the old day analog public safety systems are over and the new Digital systems are here.

This is a New Report I Read from the Orlando Sentinel

Seminole plans to upgrade radio system without taking bids
June 28, 2011|By Eloísa Ruano González, Orlando Sentinel

Seminole County's plan to award a multimillion-dollar radio contract to Motorola without competitive bidding is drawing a protest from one of the company's main rivals.

The county is likely to spend at least $15 million upgrading the old radio system used by police officers and firefighters, and it wants to stick with Motorola, which built and services the current network. But rival Harris Corp. says it could do the work and deserves the chance to bid.

The 25-year-old radio network has to be replaced with a digital system because Motorola will no longer support its analog technology after 2012. If it's not upgraded soon, county officials said, the old network could jeopardize public safety. Besides law-enforcement agencies and fire and rescue services, school-bus drivers, waste-management workers and other county employees use the network.

"The technology has changed … we know we're running out of time," said Tad Stone, the county's director of public safety.

A digital network would resolve the "patching" issues that agencies face on the outdated system. They'll be able to talk to agencies in other counties that have already gone digital. There also will be less static, and the sheriff's office will be able to encrypt communications. The sheriff's office already owns radios that will work on digital networks.

County officials said at a commission meeting Tuesday that they don't want to replace all the equipment at once. Instead, they want to phase in the digital radio network over five years. That would allow cities and other agencies that use the network to continue to use their radios and give them more time to upgrade, Stone said.

"We'll eventually have to replace them [old radios], but we don't have to replace them all at one time," Stone said.

Because parts of the old system will have to continue running as the county upgrades, only Motorola can handle the change, Stone said.

"If the other vendors had a capability of providing [this] migration path, I would be happy to work with them," Stone said last week.

But Harris Corp., a rival company, argued that the county will have to eventually throw out its old equipment, and it could save money by opening the project for bids.

Stone estimates that it could cost Seminole County between $15 million and $19 million to have Motorola upgrade the system. Harris could replace the network for no more than $15 million, said Jeff Hunt, a company sales manager who lives in Seminole.

"This will save my fellow taxpayers millions of dollars," Hunt said during Tuesday's County Commission meeting. It would be two years before the system would go fully online, giving agencies time to buy digital radios, he said.

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Orange County made a similar upgrade last year without taking bids. County officials said a re-bid contract wasn't necessary because it was merely upgrading its radio network.

Harris Corp. sought an injunction and accused Orange County of violating its rules by negotiating with only one firm. But Circuit Court Judge Thomas Smith denied the request for an injunction.

Seminole County officials will have to come back to the commission next month to seek approval for starting negotiations with Motorola, County Manager Jim Hartmann said. He, along with Stone, recommended that commissioners go with the migration plan instead of replacing the entire system all at once.

Commissioners unanimously approved their recommendation. The county already has $6 million budgeted to start the project, Stone added.

Hope this will help fellow radio Listening guys and gals in Orange,Seminole Co.

STX, HT1000, Astro Spectra,Astro Saber, XTS3000, XTS 5000 EDACS P7100, EDACS Orion
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