Burchett is Itching to Spend $8.2 Million of Our Money to a Vendor That Other Communities Have NOT Had Successful History

Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that Mayor Burchett is requesting a February 18, 2015 meeting of the E-911 board to try and force a discussion and vote to spend $8.2 million of our county tax dollars for a vendor to replace the Motorola radio system. This vendor is NOT the lowest bidder, however, the vendor has the professional services of Moxley Carmichael. The same firm that the News Sentinel, Rural Metro and other companies use and have used.

How has Harris performed in other communities? Well from back in October 2014 (only 4 months ago) check out this news story from a Las Vegas television station.

How about in Miami / Dade County, Florida (only 8 months ago) check out this news story. In Miami / Dade County the news story says that the new radios place the police at risk.

Two years ago, October 2012, this news story details that Las Vegas dropped a Harris Communication radio system. Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie informed the CEO of Harris that they were out. From the news story,

On Oct. 11, Gillespie informed the CEO of the Harris Corp. that his company’s Desert Sky radio system cannot meet his department’s needs. That’s a sharp change from past statements and advice to officers to remain patient while system bugs are fixed.

“I believe we’ve given Harris every opportunity to make the system work,” Gillespie said. “It’s just not a reliable system.”

Two years ago, in May 2012, is this news story from Pennsylvania where Harris is reported to have a statewide system that left significant gaps in coverage. Pennsylvania had already spent $400 million, expecting to spend $68 million more, the story reports that it was necessary to spend another $11.5 million more for a backup.

How about this news story from July 2012, where it is reported that the police radios failed during an Obama visit. Unfortunately,  the County Mayor has publicly stated to numerous groups that he doesn’t like President Obama, so this may be a selling point to the County Mayor.

The final example today, is this news story from Dane County, WI in June of 2014 where it was reported that remedies were being sought for reimbursements for local counties from Harris.

Granted, I know it is hard to research numerous news stories when it is easier to just copy and paste news stories straight from the PR/Lobbying firms email. This blog is a hobby for me, not my full time occupation, but come on why is the News Sentinel only reporting what their paid gal pal, Cynthia Moxley is spoon feeding them?

Knox County should ensure every police officer, sheriffs department, fire, EMT is safe. Every user of the radio communication, not just which firm may pay a larger commission.




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