Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Reliability of $2.1B statewide communication system in doubt
| By FRED LeBRUN |
First published: Sunday, February 10, 2008
| At $2.1 billion, the state's long-planned single wireless communication system that is supposed to allow firefighters, police and other first responders to speak with one another is the priciest such technology contract in the country.|
And reliability, for the State Police, for firefighters going into a building, for police in the field, is crucial.
Interim fire and police tests of the system, devised over years by the contractor M/A-Com and the state Office of Technology, have been far short of successful. Trials last summer and fall in rural Chautauqua County went acceptably, but in more crowded Erie County, communication was at best haphazard. Buffalo Fire Commissioner Michael Lombardo, for example, said radios failed to work in about half the city. The public safety unions and the Buffalo police commissioner have expressed no confidence in the system.
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