Radio Roundup Frequently Asked Questions Q: Can I have an extra battery? A: MECA is issuing one battery per radio and will have some spares in case of battery failure. Agencies may purchase spare batteries as they did in the past. IMPD is looking for additional funding to purchase more batteries. Q: Can I have an additional short antenna? A: During testing, Motorola used the long antenna to ensure 97% coverage. Each officer is distributed only one short and one long antenna to maintain this coverage. No trade-ins are allowed. In this issue: Construction work completed New MECA Systems Technicians November-December 2007 Volume 1, Issue 6 C o n s t r u c t i o n wo r k c o m p l e t e d a t a l l s i t e s All civil work and installation of site radio equipment and 800 MHz and microwave antennas is complete at the five existing and six new radio tower sites. “We are on target to have the new radio system operational by early 2008,” said MECA Director Ray Raney. “Over the last year, MECA staff has put forth a tremendous effort to ensure our public safety and public service partners have a reliable radio system with significantly improved coverage.” Now that all tower sites have been upgraded or constructed, MECA will focus on system testing and radio distribution. Coverage testing of both System 1 and 2 is projected to begin in February. Coverage testing of the buildings that Motorola guaranteed to have in-building coverage will take place after System 1 and 2 are operational. (Continued on page 2) Workers erect the new Waterway Blvd. radio tower. M e e t n e w M E C A S y s t e m s Te c h n i c i a n s MECA would like to welcome its two newest System Technicians, Katie Hutchinson and Terence “Terry” Johnson. Hutchinson and Johnson both come to MECA with impressive backgrounds that will prove to be quite an asset to the agency, particularly when MECA upgrades from the analog to digital system. Hutchinson has a Bachelors of Science in Informatics from IUPUI and has spent the last two years working for the City of Indianapolis. Her background in Informatics gives her an ideal understanding of how systems and technology meet. “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to be here at MECA during the transition,” she said. “I believe the timing of my new job here couldn’t be better so that I can fully understand the digital system and how I can provide better service to our customers.” Hutchinson enjoys film, music, web design and can be found playing on her computer or with her dog, Mamie. 1 1 MECA requests assistance 2 during radio distribution More FAQs Terry Johnson and Katie Hutchinson 2 Johnson is a Microsoft Certified Professional who specializes in network and PC support. He has spent the last five years as a bailiff in the Major Felony Drug Court, has several years of experience working with law enforcement officers and understands their unique needs. “Working in the court system, I have seen firsthand the problems encountered by officers on the current fivetower system,” Johnson said. “The new system should resolve most of these problems and I look forward to being in on the new system from the ground-up.” Johnson works on computers, enjoys camping and hunting, and spending time with his wife, Terri. “MECA welcomes Katie and Terry and looks forward to their growth, training, and addition to the MECA team,” said MECA’s Customer Service Manager Melissa Serban. Radio Roundup Page 2 MECA requests assistance during radio distribution FAQs Continued Q. How will the cutover to the new digital system take place? A. While the details of the cutover are still being worked out, there will be a phased cutover. For a brief period of time, both the old analog and new digital system will be operational for an overlap period until everyone is cutover to the new system. Users who have talkgroups for both systems programmed in their radios will switch from the analog talkgroup with an asterisk to the same named talkgroup but without the asterisk. During the last week of September, MECA began distributing a portion of the COPS Grant radios to IMPD by district. This was followed by distribution of radios to Investigations and Administration, as well as to the first IMPD recruit class. Now that distribution has begun in earnest, MECA finds itself in the unique position of coordinating the logistics of a massive radio distribution and installation schedule, as well as reprogramming for VRMs for all MECA customers. To date, MECA has ordered approximately 5800 radios for all MECA customers, valued at $7.5 million. “As we increase our portable and mobile radio distribution and installation, MECA will need the assistance of its customers to help verify radio numbers and to with IMPD, MCSD, and all other agencies, it is critical that all radios and related equipment are turned in. Immediately following distribution, a qualified group of trainers who review and highlight the new features and functionality of the radios are offering training. An IMPD Officer picks up her new radio. partner with MECA and its subcontractors in coordinating logistics,” said MECA Director Ray Raney. “This cooperation is instrumental to a smooth and timely transition to the new digital system with its improved coverage and reliability.” As radio distribution continues “This is an exciting time for MECA and its customers,” Raney said. “We value and appreciate all the cooperation and patience we have received.” The voice upgrade cutover will begin with System 2 agencies (public service) to be followed by System 1 agencies (public safety) sometime in early 2008. Construction completed Continued from page 1 Radio Roundup is a bi-monthly publication of the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Agency. Radio Roundup will keep MECA’s users informed about the $37 million upgrade to the public safety and public service radio system. If you have a question about Radio Roundup or a story idea, please contact the Radio Roundup editor, Jo Lynn Garing, at 317-327-4532 or firstname.lastname@example.org. During testing, a MECA vehicle with MECA and user personnel and Motorola will perform voice quality testing in each of the ½ mile square grids that is accessible by road in the county. Ninetyseven percent of the grids must pass the voice quality test. If fewer grids pass, Motorola must make changes to the system to meet the standard without cost to MECA. The buildings that have guaranteed in-building coverage will be tested by MECA or user personnel going into certain areas of the buildings and then transmitting and receiving using a portable radio. This coverage guarantee does not include radio frequency shielded areas, such as elevators, stairways and underground areas. Over the next few months, an additional 3500 portable and mobile radios will be programmed and either distributed or installed. “Mobile installations have begun this week,” Raney said. “This will be an extremely intensive process. I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work as we enter the final phase of the radio upgrade project.” Above and below: Workers construct the Lawrence Tower Site. MECA staff visit the new shelter at the Waterway site.
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