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Posted at 9:12 AM ET, 03/30/2010

D.C. public safety system working again

By Washington Post editors

The radio communications system used by the D.C. police and fire departments that shut down Monday night has been restored.

Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said there was a sudden halt in radio transmissions about 7:15.p.m. and continued for at least three hours. Service was back to normal around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police and fire department officials said they patched together backup systems to send needed messages. Piringer said the agency borrowed radio frequencies from Montgomery and Arlington counties.

By Washington Post editors  | March 30, 2010; 9:12 AM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Comments

An entire radio tower could go down in flames and analog systems using fifty year old technology could still function.

DC's new quarter-billion dollar system failed entirely probably because of a software upgrade made earlier in the day. A far more reliable system could be had surplus off eBay for less than $1,000. Considering what happened last night, DC would have been better off with two cups and a string.

Every government agency in the area has been sold a bill of goods with these computer controlled trunking radios. After drinking the Motorola Kool-Aid, DC took things a step further by simply mothballing their existing analog system entirely. They have ZERO redundancy for all public safety communications for the Nation's Capital.

Last night, DC Fire found itself having to use Montgomery and Arlington County's system and the police had to take calls handed out from a parking lot.

Slick salesmen, unscrupulous politicians and clueless administrators have added up to a quarter billion dollar boondoggle which puts public safety and national security at serious risk.

Hey, by the way P.G. County, how is your radio "upgrade" going?

Posted by: lefande | March 30, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Matt LeFande hit the nail on the head squarely when he points out the clueless administrators in DC Government! The police department has been led by clueless ignorant supervisors for years. I remember not too long ago the fire department supervisors being charged with harassment for trying to solicit sex from the female para-medics. Heck even Cathy Lanier got a promotion earlier in her career from a sexual harassment law suit against a fellow official in MPD!

Posted by: GolfPro2 | March 30, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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