Monday, October 29, 2012

Las Vegas Metro Police Radio System Bombs

From the LVRJ: It was a multimillion-dollar mistake. And the timing couldn't be worse.
After two years of battling dropped calls and dead zones in the department's new radio system, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie has opted to drop Desert Sky.
On Oct. 11, Gillespie informed the CEO of the Harris Corp. that his company's Desert Sky radio system cannot meet his department's needs. That's a sharp change from past statements and advice to officers to remain patient while system bugs are fixed.
"I believe we've given Harris every opportunity to make the system work," Gillespie said. "It's just not a reliable system."
Unveiled in the summer of 2010, the $42 million Desert Sky digital system - based on Harris' OpenSky system marketed to emergency service agencies nationwide - was touted as having expanded channel capacities, enabling advanced data communications for computers in patrol cars and other features unavailable with the agency's aging analog system.
Desert Sky's data capabilities have seen mixed results, but the voice communication between officers is the bigger problem. While improved in the past two years, the system still is not up to snuff for an agency whose officers talk on the radio 50,000 times every day, the sheriff said.
This is mostly a federal government problem.  years ago, they demanded that police, fire and other government agencies go to another type of radio system and frequencies but they ordered it with out having the technology.
This is not unique in Clark County as Nye County is also having the same problem:
In his report to commissioners last week, Hatfield, who leaves the county to return to Ohio at the end of the year, disclosed these problems with the new truncated system:
* The VHF radio system has interference from Valley Electric Association power lines in Pahrump;
* Reception inside buildings is poor or non-existent;
* The trunked radio system has never been turned on in Amargosa Valley and frequencies obtained for Amargosa Valley interfere with frequencies in Pahrump;
* Nye County was loaned 800 megahertz radio for better reception, but they won’t work anywhere outside of Pahrump;
* The microwave link between Sawtooth Mountain and Beatty dispatch is lost on a regular basis;
* Antennas twice fell off telephone poles atop Mount Brock above Tonopah, where the radio frequencies there also interfere with other frequencies;
* Equipment atop Montezuma Peak between Goldfield and Tonopah need to be moved to a better location for better coverage;
And if the sheriff's in Nye or Clark County only read up on the problems of Open Sky, they would have found out all the problems that are going on through out the country.
And where to read about some problems?
Well, I had information before they turned on the system in January 2011:
When the Sheriff's run in their next election, I am sure this will be a campaign issue.

1 comment:

  1. For clarification, Nye county does NOT use Open-Sky.
    (or 'Falling-Sky' as I call it)
    While they are having radio issues they are in no way related to the issues that Clark Co. is experiencing.