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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Multi-Million Dollar Radio Communication System for Aurora and Naperville Police Creates Dangerous Dead Zones | System Switched From Analog to Digital Before Fully Testing



Aurora and Naperville Police Officers and Firefighters are complaining about the new $15 million radio communication system for each intended to work together that was activated on December 1, 2010.  Turns out there are many problems for both cities.

Even almost a month later, complaints continue.  Daily Herald reports:

"There have been some missing radio transmissions, and some users have been saying that the system, the radios, were not staying connected to the system," Naperville police Chief David Dial said Thursday.

In Aurora, which recently opened a $130 million new police headquarters, many patrol officers have been complaining about the new system since it started in early December.

Aurora Police Officer Dave Schmidt told the Daily Herald the problems range from the near east side of the city to Orchard Road on the west side.

"The system is worse than it was before," said Schmidt, who also serves as president of the union (APPO) representing Aurora patrol officers.  "It's dangerous.  It's affecting our safety."

While Naperville officials blame some of the problems with the system on signal strength, Aurora Police Lt. Nick Coronado says "There's going to be problems in ANY building...as the structures are being built with more concrete or more steel, radio waves have a harder time travelling through concrete and steel."

So, is this why taxpayers paid millions for a new system that works less effectively?

Naperville officials are saying some of the problems are improving with increased signal strength, but Naperville officer and police union president Vince Clark says problems with full reception are frequent and are causing officers to keep repeating themselves, which may create confusion or waste critical time in an emergency.

Florida-based Harris Corporation, which boasted at the time of being awarded the multi-million contracts how this would be better for the two cities, could not be reached for comment by the Daily Herald.

Aurora Police Commander Joe Groom, who helped oversee the massive cost of the new police station and doesn't appear to hesitate to spend taxpayer money, didn't raise any concerns to the city council when the radio change was proposed.

Groom could not be reached for comment.  Perhaps Groom's radio wasn't working.

However, should city officials have anticipated these problems and taken steps to test the system fully BEFORE  the switch?  Were there any warning signs from any other communities?

The following video reports are mostly from over two years ago so draw your own conclusions if there should have been any concern...

SAN MATEO COUNTY


MILWAUKEE


ORLANDO


INDIANAPOLIS


NEW ZEALAND


PHILADELPHIA


SAN FRANCISCO / OAKLAND BAY AREA

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Less officers AND radios that don't work. The blood will be on your hands Weisner. You asshole.

Anonymous said...

It's really incredible. This clearly should have been tested first since there's been so many problems in so many places.

What do people like Groom actually do all day up in the police palace? I find it odd we are laying off patrol officers but not any of the upper management.

Anonymous said...

$130 million for a new police palace that has many design flaws and is overpriced.

$15 million for a digital radio system that wasn't tested first before switching and doesn't work well.

And the Aurora City Council just voted a tax rate increase.

Priceless.

Anonymous said...

They new before that it was a problem. Overpaid get-over-job guys like Rusty Sullivan and then Chief Powell can be thanked for this fiasco. Turned their backs on Moterolla. Must not have contributed enough to their campaign fund of the Wiz! Both retired and are regular patrolmen in other towns.

Anonymous said...

First Groom shoots himself in the foot (true story). Then he shoots the radio system.

He is an over rated jack ass. Everything he touches turns to shit!

Anonymous said...

Seems to me if you turn the clock back about 30 or 40 years you will find the exact same thing happened when the police station on Lake St. was new. Are these people all too dumb to learn from their mistakes. It has been talked and joked about for the last 40 years about how the communication system in the old station was obsolete even before it was installed. I think someone was on the take then and it looks like maybe the same thing happened now.. opportunity defiantely struck twice in good ol aurora.

Anonymous said...

We are supposed to be the protectors. Protect those who cannot protect themselves. Yet, we were unwilling to TRY to find a way to protect eight of our own. A sad day in the history of APPO.

Oh yeah, the radios do suck.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of working out the bugs with a new system, you whiners? Time for a work slowdown, heh APPO? That'll help.

Anonymous said...

There is no perfect system. The only real differences are the add-on capabilities.Today's radio communication system has to be able to more than just two-way radio communication of old.

Anonymous said...

10:57

We wont have to slow down. We wont be able to get to our calls due to the radio malfunctions.

Seriously, it is really bad.

Anonymous said...

10:57

We wont have to slow down. We wont be able to get to our calls due to the radio malfunctions.

Seriously, it is really bad.

Jerry said...

The vendor of the Milwaukee radio system is the same one used by Naperville / Aurora. Do a search on Opensky and you'll see why there isn't a huge deployment of these systems...because they don't work well. Stay safe.

Anonymous said...

San Mateo County and Indianapolis are Motorola manufactured radio systems.

Anonymous said...

Groom shot himself in the foot? Do taxpayers have to pay for his healthcare? It's bad enough we will be paying for his pension.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the next time his aim will improve and he will soot a little higher!

Anonymous said...

That happened years ago in a training exercise. Get over it and deal with the task at hand. Every year this comes up and people act like its a new story. I am not a fan of his, but for God's sake, move on.

Anonymous said...

You're all missing the point! Follow the Money, who got paid and how much? Groom is Wiesners friend and is his position because of it. Check the City's work comp records and see how much he got paid for shooting himself, both times. The deck of cards is falling in, but lets not stop there: ask how much was spent on the in-car video systems. They've been replaced how many times and at what cost? The one responsible for that(Perkins) is the chief in Huntley now. You have/had un-professional people making decisions with the money.

Anonymous said...

Get back to the real story here. This is not just a police problem, but this radio situation is a city problem. Just ask any city employee; police,fire and public works. They will all tell you the same thing; this radio system sucks!!

Anonymous said...

In the normal world, inept employees would be shown the door. In the City of Aurora you get promoted! You can be a convicted sex offender and have a retired lieutenants badge in case you get stopped and collect a pension, thanks to the "good ole boy network", something else in the proud history of the Aurora Police Department!

Anonymous said...

Blame Lawler and Saum for that one!

Anonymous said...

What do people like Groom actually do all day up in the police palace? The same thing Tim Groom does at the Street dept...very little of anything..oh thats right, he been on light duty.......Forever!

Anonymous said...

Well we gave up a good Motorola radio system for the new Harris radio system...yea that was a good move. Motorola still the best! for the money!

Anonymous said...

Whenever politician and city workers on the public dole say "new and improved" taxpayers always be very afraid and then ask how much it that going to cost me.

Anonymous said...

GO FUCK YOURSELF, TOM WEISNER... I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL

Anonymous said...

Every system that ever goes online has problems. The fact is, we needed a new system. The old Motorola one worked yes but it was outdated and we needed to move into modern times. Harris does all of the US military radios and many others. Motorola has just as many problems as Harris when they put new digital systems online. Unfortunately it seems like it is just the way it goes. Lets just hope they get the bugs out soon.

Anonymous said...

Harris didn't engineer the system originally. Opensky was purchased by MA/Com - Tyco from another company. Several agencies tried to get it to work with the vendor. However, in the end they cancelled the contract because of delays, poor operation of the system, etc. Milwaukee has been trying to get theirs working for 8 years. It's operational but not to the level of satisfaction of the users.

Anonymous said...

When was the last the Police were satisfied?

Anonymous said...

1 homicide and three shootings since then. Its Jan 7th, f'ing cold outside and getting busy. Think we should lay off more cops? Wait til the rest hits the paper? Oh wait none of this has, except for the Aurora Township, oops sorry Moecherville shooting. FU Weisner

Anonymous said...

The mayoral assistant, Kerry Ergo, $125,000 a year employee, shot and killed a gun wielding youth, who was shooting at a crowd of teens, while off-duty...

Anonymous said...

mmmmm.... I remember in the not to distant past a lot of complaints on this blog about the problems with the City's Motorola radio system that was failing at every turn. The new radio system is beginning to work great now that the bugs are being worked out.

Anonymous said...

And the story continues

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110309/news/703099765/#ixzz1GJmGcpSx