Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | 4:40 p.m.
Metro Police is officially cutting ties with its controversial radio system after signing a replacement $26.3 million deal with Motorola Solutions announced last week.
The deal comes several months after Sheriff Doug Gillespie’s announcement that the department would drop the 2-year-old Desert Sky radio system due to a high number of dropped calls and dead zones. Motorola is scheduled to install and fully test its radio system by the second fiscal quarter of 2014, according to the contact.
The overhaul will introduce more than 5,000 portable and mobile radios to the police department, which will connect to a new digital radio system, according to contract terms. The deal also includes connected radios being installed in seven police helicopters, and upgraded computer and mobile systems.
“Given Metro’s 50,000 radio push-to-talk calls per day, the large entertainment industry and large geographic coverage area, we are confident Motorola will deliver a successful … radio system to meet our aggressive timeline,” Metro Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in a statement.
The deal was approved by Metro Police’s Fiscal Affairs department, and was announced formally by Motorola on Wednesday.
In a 2012 story, police officers speaking to the Sun on the condition of anonymity said they frequently talk to each other with cellphones because it is more reliable than the police radio.
Metro blames the former radio system on the 2011 death of Stanley Gibson, who died after an officer mistakenly fired at him after the officer’s radio failed to relay correct instructions.