Law Enforcement Technology

MAY 2015

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Page 20 of 43 May 2015 Law Enforcement Technology 21 Making the move to digital Director Robert Stack heads up E911 efforts at Lexington (Ky) Division of Police and began a $10 mil implementa- tion product for new radios. The problem: A suspect connection. "Our fire division was operating on a Harris EDACS radio system that had been deemed 'end of life' by the manufacturer. Police on the other hand was on an aging 40-year-old analog radio system and needed to be narrow banded… it was more efficient to go out and buy a new radio system to replace the two aging ones. They switched out handhelds on the police side, buying Tait PT9100s. Pervasive interference was another concern. Says Stack "It was not uncommon to get bleed over from agencies in Ohio using the same fre- quencies that were deemed to be far enough away by the FCC to use the same frequencies, but yet we were having bleed-over from them." The purchase: An Airbus (formerly Cassidian) trunked digital 800 MHz radio system. Lexington partnered with the Blue Grass Airport on this sizeable overhaul. The airport owns a portion of the radio system and own a 3-channel multicast off the PD's radio system. "Our partnership has worked out very well; it has been a cost-savings for the city because we don't have to pay for a tower out in that end of the county," says Stack. Since then, small- er jurisdictions have expressed interest in joining the radio system. Reported features: ■ Full encryption ■ Nonproprietary hardware means the agency is free to obtain replace- ment part through open sources. ■ Competitive pricing ■ Transparency during the purchasing process Circle 57 on Reader Service Card ■ Identifies who the radio user is via unique subscriber user ID "If somebody has difficulty speaking because of the envi- ronment they're in, we at least know who's trying to transmit." A word on transition: "There's always some burn-in, but that's to be expected…nothing earth-shat- tering. On a digital system you either have the radio or you don't have the radio," says Stack. "There's no in-between". ■

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