Multi-million dollar upgrade to Metro's radio system isn't delivering
In its company video and on its website, Harris Corporation promises a high tech communication system. It's a system that Metro purchased for $42 million, but now said isn't up to par. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- In its company video and on its website, Harris Corporation promises a high-tech communication system. It's a system that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department purchased for $42 million, but now said isn't up to par.
"It's working in our everyday aspects of the job, but in emergency critical situations it's left to some desire as far as it's ability," Assistant Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
In emergency situations officers may have trouble calling for help on the radios and with 55,000 radio calls per day the system isn't high tech enough, Lombardo said.
"We have concerns for officer safety being compromised and we do not want to be put in that situation," he said.
LVMPD is negotiating with the company to fix the current system, but that could cost money the department doesn't have.
"We don't have $15 to fix the system we just spent $40 million buying the system," Commissioner Steve Sisolak said. "I don't know how that will be resolved."
Sisolak said the department is facing a major budget deficit and the faulty radio system comes at a bad time.
"It wasn't a waste of money because we needed the system," Sisolak said. "In hindsight would we have made a better choice? Maybe, but hindsight is 20/20."
Lombardo said it's looking for other companies that could provide radio systems.
"We obviously are trying to get our system to work in its current state," Lombardo said. "If we don't get there we have to pursue other avenues because of officer safety and public safety."
The Harris Corporation released the following statement on the matter:
"Harris Corporation has been working, and will continue to work, with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) to support their specific use of the DesertSky system for mission-critical voice and data communications. We recognize that each of our customers has unique requirements for their communications environment, and we remain fully committed to optimizing their experience and responding to their preferences for system operation. As the needs of LVMPD and Las Vegas evolve, the breadth of the Harris product portfolio ensures that LVMPD will be able to have the system capabilities it needs now and in the future."