WHAT’S THE STATUS OF THE CITY’S SORELY NEEDED NEW EMERGENCY RADIO NETWORK?
2005: “It’s not a problem that’s going to be solved in one day. It will be over a period of years,” said Mayor Bill White.
2006: In its new monthly in-house publication, the department admits there are limitations with its police radio system, largely due to the age of the equipment.
2007: “If the public allows me to keep the job for the next three years, I do want to put in place a strategy and contracts and a financing plan to get us into a state-of-the-art public safety communications system,” White said.
2008: Houston is poised to build a $107 million emergency radio system that will allow police, fire and rescue officials to communicate with one another in large-scale catastrophes.
2009: Tom Sorley, deputy director of the city’s radio communication services, confirmed the new radio system linking Houston police, firefighters and the Public Works Department will not be operational until September 2012. When functioning, he said, it will allow HPD to relay calls to other large police agencies in the region.
So, nearly 10 years after the city learned that its emergency radio network was seriously out-of-date, the city hopes to have a new system in place. And just in the nick of time, too, because, according to HPD, “By 2013, our current system, with wide band frequencies, will most likely be discontinued.”
As an aside, Harris County upgraded its radio system years ago.