Police panel OKs replacing radios again

first_imgFor the second time this year, the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday approved a plan to replace radios for LAPD officers and their cars – a proposal that has met resistance from city leaders because of its high price tag. The Los Angeles Police Department lowered its price estimate by $15 million and proposed to stretch the expense over five years, and the commission urged the city’s administrative officer to approve the proposal. “These numbers look a lot better than the original numbers,” Police Commission President John Mack said. “In the interest of officer safety, when there are split-second decisions that can mean life or death, it’s important to communicate.” The LAPD’s current Motorola handheld radios were originally purchased between 1994 and 1996 and have been discontinued. The company plans to stop making replacement parts for the radios in 2007, which means the department’s supply of radios will dwindle as existing radios break. Officers have complained about dead zones with the current radios – especially in the San Fernando Valley – and the commission has said communication problems have often been cited in use-of-force reports. The city’s administrative officer rejected the LAPD’s original budget request, saying $45 million was too much during a budget crunch. The LAPD renegotiated with Motorola – the only company that can make radios that work with the department’s communication system – and lowered the price by $1,500 per radio, to $30 million for about 10,000 unencrypted radios or $35 million for encrypted radios, officials said. In the new proposal, the city would spend between $4.1 million and $5.1 million in the first year of the five-year plan to replace radios in black-and-white squad cars. In the second year, the city would spend about the same amount to replace radios in unmarked cars. Handheld radios for each officer would be replaced over the following three years, costing between $18 million and $19 million, said Peter Di Carlo, assistant commanding officer of the LAPD’s Information and Communication Services Bureau. “We would make the acquisitions based on how much money we’d be provided in the budget,” he said. Officials from the CAO’s office would not say whether money for the radios will appear in the 2006-07 budget, which is expected to be released April 20. [email protected] (818) 713-3669 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more