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« Welcome to Public Safety Wireless News | Main | PacketHop Expands into 4.9 GHz, Cell with Software Tools »

July 7, 2006

D.C. Transit Police Carry Two Radios for Safety

By Glenn Fleishman

The transit police can’t ditch their old system because new $60m network doesn’t work reliably in tunnels: The Washington Post reports that the Metro Transit Police force cannot rely on the new radio system underground, despite the Motorola system being required to cover 95 percent of the area with 95 percent reliability of voices being understand. The old system has a single channel shared across the network; the new one has 255 channels. Officers must carry two radios for safety.

The Post quotes Motorola as stating they don’t have an ETA for the six-year-old system achieving the required level of availability. The current Metro chief sounds aggravated. It’s only part of the subway network that’s a real problem: four tunnel segments and seven underground stations. An officer was attacked in March and had just a radio from the new system. She was forced to track and arrest the attacker while trying futilely to get a signal—she eventually got one word to pass through the network, enough to get her location.

Radios have been installed 1,500 buses and 55 police cruisers where they apparently work just fine, as well as working as expected for two aboveground transit police units.

Motorola is testing a cable replacement which, if successful, might lead to them replacing 100 miles of antenna cable. Metro and Motorola haven’t agreed on which party would pay for any of this.

Posted by Glennf at July 7, 2006 2:05 PM

Categories: Police, Radios

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