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(Report #1 by David Cruise added on 08/09/2012.  See below.)

Oakland is one of California’s most troubled cities.  Crime is out of control, the police department is being considered for takeover by the Feds, and the City is in severe financial crisis.  The City’s new P25 digital trunked radio system has been in the news because it does not provide reliable communication for first responders. Click here to read a recent article that summarizes the problem.

Perhaps the predominant problem with Oakland’s P25 digital trunked radio system has little to do with P25 technology or with the specific products purchased by the City. It appears to me that the root cause of the chronic problems are:

  1. The system is significantly under built.  Insufficient base station sites exist to provide even marginal coverage in this large city.  Was the system “value engineered” to bring the cost down to an affordable $18,000,000?
  2. The system is ineptly managed by a City IT staff that apparently has inadequate expertise and/or resources to manage a complex telecommunications system.

Today, Oakland’s City Manager announced the appointment of a well-known expert in public-safety telecommunications as the “P25 Public Safety Systems Advisor.”  David Cruise will accept this responsibility on Monday, August 6, 2012.  Let’s see if he can penetrate Oakland’s political machine and implement some sound engineering and system management practices.

Report #1 by David Cruise 08/08/2012