Cincinnati Council: Fix Police Radios Now

May 22, 2017

Members of Cincinnati Council's Law and Public Safety Committee say they want answers about continuing problems with police radios. They want Motorola representatives at a meeting in two weeks.  

Officers have been complaining about audio transmission and receiving issues since the new radios went into service last summer.  

The group heard Monday about one problem from police dispatcher Julie Pratt.

"If an officer is in a crisis, it's almost impossible... the radio doesn't pick-up what the officer is saying," Pratt said. "It comes into us as a mumble or a jumble, with so much feedback or bouncing from the situation that's happening around them, instead of defining their voice when they're in an emergency situation."

Pratt also complained about issues with a new computer-aided dispatch system from a different vendor. She told the committee the new system isn't providing the same information as the old one. The committee is also asking for representatives from that company to attend the next meeting.

Motorola has been working on the radio problems. Assistant Police Chief Dave Bailey told the group upgrades are underway.
 
"Let's get the right, consistent equipment on the radio body, microphones and antennas, and assure those are on all the radios and make sure they get the same programming," Bailey said. "Once we've got everyone on the same playing field, reevaluate, and any time we have problems immediately get that to Motorola, immediately diagnosis it and get us an answer."

The Fraternal Order of Police has been posting pictures recently on social media with officers' children asking the company to fix the problems because their parents' safety depends on them.

The city manager said in a memo last week Motorola is being "a responsive partner" and working to address the concerns.