San Jose Police, Fire Departments Provide Update on Moving to Regional Radio Network
Tuesday, November 06, 2018 | Comments

The San Jose (California) Police Department and San Jose (California) Fire Department provided the city council with an update on the timeline for moving their radio communications systems to the new Silicon Valley Regional Communications System (SVRCS).

The SVRCS will replace existing public-safety radio systems in Santa Clara County with a system that uses 700/800 MHz spectrum. The new system will allow for enhanced data transmissions, additional capacity for mutual-aid scenarios, and the ability to record transmissions for training purposes, a memorandum said. When completed, SVRCS will replace legacy public-safety radio systems throughout Santa Clara County with an interoperable, regional, two-way, Project 25 (P25) digital trunked radio system.

The Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority (SVRIA), a joint powers authority, is coordinating construction and operations for the system. Local agencies, including cities, Santa Clara County and the Valley Transportation Authority, joined the SVRIA and may use the SVRCS system.

San Jose is a founding member of the SVRIA. On June 16, 2015, the city council approved funding that enabled San Jose to join the SVRIA with the goal of transitioning the city’s public-safety radio operations to the SVRCS when the project is completed. These funds included the city’s proportionate share of the infrastructure buildout for the SVRCS during a three-year period, from June 2015 through December 2018. Additionally, in anticipation of system completion, the council approved funding for dispatch consoles and radios for both the police and fire departments.

Ten of the 11 transmission sites have been completed in the SVRCS central cell, which covers all of San Jose and part of the county, with an additional transmission site to be constructed. The SVRIA originally projected that work on the SVRCS would be completed by December 2018; however, the agency now reports that work has fallen behind schedule because of construction delays, leasing agreement negotiations and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) installations. Completion of one remaining central cell site (Coyote Peak) is needed before the city of San Jose can migrate to the new SVRCS.

Although there is not a definitive final completion date from SVRIA, it is anticipated the final central cell site will be completed in the next four to five months. SVRIA is working with the tower owner, Santa Clara County Parks, and PG&E regarding the Coyote Peak site. Once the lease agreement and electrical power are in place, Motorola Solutions, SVRIA’s contractor, is prepared to install the equipment.

Planning and preparation are underway in the police and fire departments to enable each to migrate to the SVRCS once the system is completed and accepted. Consoles for the police and fire dispatch centers are expected to be installed in November, and each department is in the process of procuring its final allotment of radios. Testing and training during the next few months will position public safety to migrate once the system is completed.

A more detailed report and timeline is planned for December.

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