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Motorola faces Cincinnati leaders over safety concerns with police radios

Motorola police radios (Photo: Facebook) Motorola police radios (Photo: Facebook)

Concerns with Cincinnati police radios returned to City Hall Monday.

Officials with the company that provides them, Motorola Solutions, met with Council's Law & Public Safety Committee.

The development comes after the police union leader has said for months police radios are not working properly and now the city's CAD, or computer aided dispatch system also is experiencing problems.

"The fact that we have to intervene before individuals like you come here, it's not good," Council Member Yvette Simpson told company officials.

Police kids: Hey, Motorola! Fix your radios, Daddy's life depends on it

Some committee members reserved their toughest words for software company TriTech, which provides the CAD.

It's a system that, in the past through another vendor, helped dispatchers alert police when someone they pulled over could be connected to a crime. 

That's no longer the case, a Cincinnati police senior operator dispatcher told the Law & Public Safety committee two weeks ago when she came forward after asking for whistleblower protection.

It's now one of the issues that TriTech reps said has been resolved.

The company pledged Monday to have all 21 other issues resolved by the middle of next week. 

"You have that continued level of commitment from us until all of these are resolved and until we're comfortable and your team is comfortable and the Cincinnati Police Department is comfortable with the resolution," Scott MacDonald with TriTech told city leaders.

Committee Chairman Chris Smitherman wasn't pleased with the amount of time it took for the company to respond to the issues.

The company said it first received the issues in February then had a review meeting in April. 

"And you have not just my commitment, but that of the company that will continue to resolve the issues, but to continue to make the system better," MacDonald said.

TriTech is scheduled to return to update the committee in two weeks.

Industry leader Motorola also addressed the committee about police radios.

According to the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the radios have not been working properly during sudden activity or bursts of loud voices.

Motorola officials said it has addressed the issue with the radios except for a few they haven't received yet.

"We tweaked and customized and optimize until they're happy and that was a continuation of what you saw today," said a company official, John Zidar.

Officials also are trying to find ways to improve police radio emergency alert buttons.

FOP President Sgt. Dan Hils was optimistic as he address the committee.

"And we do believe there very sincere and they're desire to make sure that police officers are safe when doing their jobs and they're very sincere in wanting to fix these items," he said.

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