Waterloo Region RFP for new radio system - Police seeking encryption

Status
Not open for further replies.

bwjmackie

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
Messages
122
Location
Ontario, Canada
Article source: TheRecord.com, 2013-11-12. Emphasis within article is not in the original article.

Replacing emergency radio system expected to cost $26 million

By Paige Desmond

WATERLOO REGION — The Region of Waterloo expects to spend at least $26 million to upgrade voice radio systems for local police, fire, transit and other services from analog to digital.

Council voted Tuesday to issue a request for proposals for replacement of the region's two-way voice radio system which is expected to be obsolete as early as 2018.

Politicians plan to spend about $21.8 million to buy the system and about $4 million to finance the debt purchase. Development charges may cover some costs.

"It is very expensive and unfortunately the analog system will be redundant and unable to be maintained in 2018," said Coun. Tom Galloway, who also chairs the Waterloo Region Police Services Board.

Staff say it could cost the region beyond the estimate because potential suppliers were unable to offer estimates without more detailed information on what the region requires.

The region is responsible for the voice radio systems used by local police, fire departments, ambulances, municipal operations, Grand River Transit, the Grand River Conservation Authority and the Red Cross.

Municipal and other partners are responsible for purchasing equipment such as hand-held devices.

The current system was installed in 1994.

Replacement of the archaic system was expected to be complete in 2018, but a steering committee representing those affected is recommending the date — and funding — be moved up to 2017.

Part of the concern is that equipment and parts to maintain an analog operation will become increasingly difficult to find as production slows in anticipation of the digital age. "You don't want to be in a situation where you're still installing the new system and the old system is not operating," Galloway said.

But he's concerned about moving the project timeline ahead. It means the region would have to issue about $2.2 million in debt in 2014 that it wasn't expecting until 2015.

Regional council already has to find a way to pay $5 million in additional debt costs in 2014 for other projects. That's equal to a regional tax increase of about one per cent.

"I'm going to have to seriously question the need for that," Galloway said of the new timeline. "We do have some issues with our borrowing and our debenture costs."

A new system will have its perks.

It's expected to offer easier and stronger encryption capabilities, more clear sound, less signal noise, longer battery life and greater volume of calls through the same frequencies.

The encryption is of particular value to police.

"From a police point of view, when you're in the middle of a serious operational issue you can't really have the bad guys listening in on what the police's next move is," Galloway said.

In addition to the costs to the region, municipalities and other users will be responsible for replacing their user equipment.

A request for proposals is expected to be issued in early 2014 and a contract awarded mid-year.

pdesmond@therecord.com
 

Forts

Mentor
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
6,813
Location
Ontario, Canada
Well we all knew this one would be coming sooner than later. Between KW and ChathamKent I believe they are the only big EDACS systems left in the immediate area. So far Harris has had good success holding on to these customers and upgrading them to P25ip systems (London, Brantford, etc) so it will be interesting to see who gets the contract. I've been watching for Chatham to start looking at an upgrade as well but haven't seen anything as of yet.

As far as the encryption goes... It's pretty much a given nowadays that any new system will have encryption for at least the police.
 

torontokris

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,738
Location
Toronto Canada
I love how Motorola sells things... tells cities the system will be "obsolete" by xx date.. I guess at that exact date the whole system just shuts down?

Sorry sir your 2014 Car is now obsolete.. you need to buy a new fancier one.
 

polkaroo

Missed him again!
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
406
It's interesting to hear how these systems are sold as better and more flexible, interop, etc. Old systems were interop-capable, just depended on whether the particular dispatcher knew or wanted to initiate a patch. Somehow I think the same old SOP will be in place with a $40 million dollar system for "better interop."

... that and I'm hearing of issues with in-building coverage for Toronto's P25 system. Maybe that's why Toronto Fire is taking so long to move over? Certainly Fire and EMS radios are all ready for the new P25 system... oh wait, XTL/XTS is also approaching 'end of life' and support will be on a 'best effort basis' with parts remaining. Oh but hey, I got this cool new radio to show you...
 

exkalibur

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
2,810
Location
York, Ontario
Well to be fair, regarding the obsolete - the system and radios themselves won't stop working but from a Public Safety perspective, they probably don't want to have to rely on eBay for parts. When it's a "mission critical" infrastructure type thing, they want to be able to have replacement parts and service at their beck and call.
 

robertmac

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,294
Bad guys listening to police. But what about the good guys? Or are all scanner listeners bad guys in the eyes of police?
 

VE3RADIO

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
1,261
Location
Planet Earth
Not all, but many police think this way. Not just in regard to scanner listeners either.
All "civilians" are criminals that just haven't been caught yet.

I think this is more true of the younger generation of LEO's... There are a lot of 20 year old cops on the street with almost no life experience that think they know it all... Today a lot of cops are just cops because its a high paying job.. most LEO in Ontario make well over 100K a year.. the LEO of yesteryear often became a cop because they had a passion for it etc.. and would still be a cop if the pay was 50K a year.

I personally don't think anyone is ready to be a cop until at least 25-30.. and you should have had to work a variety of jobs first and work with a variety of people.. if you have nothing in common with someone or no understanding of things it is probably pretty hard to make a fair call in a lot of situations. I understand it is a thankless job and pretty much everyone will always blame the cop if they can.. Its when the 20 year old single cop with a good salary and low expenses lays a large ticket on a father working a medium paying job trying to feed his 3 kids and wife.. the actual fallout of that ticket (insurance, financial hardship) way exceeds the crime of speeding etc..

I realize.. if you don't speed you wont get a ticket, but that wont stop the cop from pulling you over for a headlight or a bad lane change etc.. or for whatever reason the LEO thinks up so he can check you out or make quota.
 

polkaroo

Missed him again!
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
406
Going off topic... if speeding truly was a safety thing, they wouldn't be hiding in trees shooting fish in a barrel in known spots where the limit is ridiculously low or changes from block to block. I think the OPP does the right thing (perhaps not enough!) by ticketing those going significantly faster than the flow of traffic. But the province by keeping the limit at 100, you're charged with going 30 over, which results in a higher revenue per ticket vs 10-over the 120km/h normal flow of traffic.

If parking enforcement was a safety issue, they wouldn't be allowed to park illegally in order to ticket illegally parked vehicles. Parking in a rush hour route to ticket a rush hour vehicle - I guess it's pretty damn difficult to find a spot, eh? So Mr. PKE in order to do your job you can't find a legal spot either?

All I want to hear is "yes, we do this as a revenue tool for the city" OR throw the book at the real offenders and those taking advantage of disabled vehicle permits/spots and fire routes. Just don't hide behind the guise of safety.
 

icarus1963

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
177
Location
Brantford, Ontario
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top