We’re disappointed that The Bee’s recent coverage of the new emergency radio system that serves Sacramento and systems in other cities and regions across the nation contained misinformation and innuendo (“ Tech rules block bidding” Page A1, March 30).
Suggesting that the contract used to purchase the system is suspect merely because it did not fit a generic, competitive-bid model demonstrates The Bee’s unfamiliarity with the procurement process and casts aspersions on the integrity of Motorola Solutions and the government officials with which we do business.
For more than 80 years, Motorola Solutions has developed state-of-the-art technology to support the challenging and demanding missions of public safety. Customers choose Motorola because it has remained committed to serving these dedicated professionals by closely listening to them and responding with innovative solutions that meet their needs. This longstanding commitment to better serve our customers in the face of increasing competition is what drives our desire to remain the market leader.
As The Bee’s story on the new emergency radio system for Sacramento County reported, local agencies and an outside consultant evaluated options from four providers to build it (“ Motorola lands Sacramento-network contract,” Page A21, March 30). Motorola was selected because it offered the best value and lowest risk to deliver a network serving 14,000 public employees across the region.
Our contract with Sacramento County, which is consistent with applicable laws and regulations, includes expert-driven, detailed technical specifications, performance requirements and deployment timelines to deliver the new system at a firm fixed price. This process ensured the procurement was performed in a manner that achieved cost savings for taxpayers and enabled faster implementation, which is an important consideration for equipment that serves as a lifeline for first responders.
Sacramento’s new network went live last week. It was built using Project 25, a user-driven open forum that sets standards for interoperable, mission-critical voice communications on land-mobile radio systems. The P25 standard has been endorsed by the federal government to ensure the interoperability of public safety communications equipment.
Motorola offers a full range of P25 solutions that balance features, needs and costs for seamless communications across agencies and jurisdictions so they can coordinate during a joint response. Selecting among these options does not make the radio “proprietary,” but it requires the customer to make certain operational decisions relative to accomplishing interoperability. However, it would be a disservice to public safety agencies, and to the communities they serve, to limit their equipment choices and customer-focused innovation.
Tom McMahon is Global Communications and Government Affairs director for Motorola Solutions in Washington, D.C.