Saturday, December 31, 2005
it CAN happen THERE too !
(Final issue of 2005 bar another system Crash or News Flash)
If you read my last issue of the Blah-g ( if you didn't, please do so at your earliest possible chance ) you will see that I've just about run out of patience with the clowns that are currently running the circus at Public Safety Drive.
I am hoping my latest behind the scene talks will be productive and soon we will have a much safer county in which to live.
I was sent the following article by two different readers and it is worth reading by everyone. Thank you for the emails. In fact, I want to thank everyone that emailed me in 2005 with tips, inside information and comments on our string and tin can operation, especially those Dispatchers that took the chance by sending me emails knowing that if they were caught they would be fired on the spot by Mark.
This article just goes to show you that Motorola Found MORE THAN ONE DUPE to buy what I consider to be GARBAGE for a Radio Cyst-em !
- - - from www.philly.com on line - - -
Posted on Thu, Dec. 29, 2005
Radio-system upgrades urged
Saidel issues report on status of police-fire communication
By MARK McDONALD
Just two days before he cleans out his office and ends a 16-year run as city controller, Jonathan Saidel yesterday issued a report on the city's controversial police-fire radio system that calls for more upgrades to protect public safety.
How much the upgrades would cost is unclear because Saidel says the Police Department would not provide the needed data.
What is clear is that the city has paid Motorola $54.8 million for an 800-megahertz (MHz) system that began operating in 2002. It also shelled out $3.6 million for three years of maintenance. In addition, consultants got $3.5 million in the transaction.
Saidel's report was triggered in part by the deaths in August 2004, of two firefighters in the basement of a Port Richmond rowhouse.
Firefighters complained about busy signals as they tried to make calls at the scene.
There were also a spate of disturbing incidents in 2004 in which the entire system or parts of it went down for inexplicable reasons, events that triggered City Council hearings. Saidel began his review 13 months ago.
Now, Public Property Commissioner Joan Schlotterbeck says the new system "functions extremely well under full-load conditions." Three of the four most notorious malfunctions in 2004 were apparently caused by the Verizon telephone lines that link the radio transmission towers to the police and fire dispatch centers and not Motorola equipment, Saidel's report said.
And one of the biggest problems, cell-phone interference that can result in dead spots, is on the mend.
Saidel's report noted that 56 trouble spots had been identified in a December 2004 study.
Under a Federal Communications Commission plan, the cell-phone carrier, Nextel, will swap its 800 MHz frequencies for other higher frequencies, which should resolve the interference. "The good news for Philadelphia is that the city is among the first group of jurisdictions to be 'rebanded,' " the report said.
Saidel's report noted that while police have 75 percent of the radio system's activity, they have only 50 percent or 15 of the city's 30 channels. The city has purchased five new channels for exclusive police use with the new capacity coming on line next June.
Saidel says more channels are fine, but what's really needed are more "talk groups," the virtual channels that enable members of a designated group to talk with each other.
The police have 83 of these groups, but only 13 of them, or 16 percent, are assigned to the police districts.
But those districts account for 90 percent of the activity on the police side of the radio system.
Saidel noted that the heavier the talk-group activity, the more likely that a cop will get a busy signal when trying to talk on the radio with his group.
"If the radio system's goal is to increase the ability of police and fire to talk, then we need more talk groups," he said. That translates into more radio consoles at headquarters, more dispatchers and more office space, he said. But when Saidel's staff asked for cost data, the Police Department rebuffed it, he said.
Schlotterbeck, in her written response to the report, said that while adding talk groups was easy, police would encounter "operational challenges" and therefore opposed the idea.
- - - end of report - - -
In other news, I'm currently working on two more audio clips to be posted to my website. If time permits I'll have them posted today, otherwise next year.
That brings me to wishing each and every one of you a Happy New Year !
May 2006 bring you better HEALTH, greater WEALTH, and much HAPPINESS. And in some cases... new jobs outside of public safety.
I understand Denny's is hiring.
God Bless !
http://800.k3sam.com - website
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