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Supervisors: Join Our Network


Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Issue 13, Volume 18.
Paul Young
Special to the Valley News


RIVERSIDE - The Board of Supervisors signed off today on a web- based campaign intended to persuade public safety agencies throughout Riverside County to use an all-digital radio system that the sheriff's department began using at the beginning of the year.

"We have a very effective new system in place, but it has come with significant costs," said Supervisor John Benoit, who, along with Supervisor John Tavaglione, brought forward the idea of promoting the network to surrounding law enforcement and fire agencies.

"We're hoping others will get involved to defray some of these costs and improve inter-operability. That way, we can go from a great to a greater system," Benoit said.

County Chief Information Officer Kevin Crawford told the board that his staff has been working "aggressively" to make municipalities aware of the potential benefits of using the Public Safety Enterprise Communication System, generally referred to as PSEC.

"This is an expensive system. It costs money to keep it up and running," Crawford said. "We're working on finding ways to get other agencies to join without a big upfront cost to them."

Benoit and Tavaglione advocated a website that could serve as a platform to promote PSEC's benefits.

"The county must do a better job sharing information about this state- of-the-art system," the supervisors wrote in their joint proposal. "The first step in doing this is creating an easily accessible web page that contains as much information about PSEC as possible."

The system was activated Jan. 5 -- about a year overdue and more than $20 million over the $143 million budget originally estimated for the network's build-out. The project was initiated in 2007.

Crawford and Advertisement
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[ Mike Mason ]
Undersheriff Colleen Walker have each raved about the new system's functionality.

According to Benoit, the San Jacinto Community College Police Department has signed on as a PSEC user, while the Corona and Riverside police departments have expressed interest in following suit. He said he hoped Coachella Valley law enforcement agencies would consider signing on as partners.

Board Chairman Jeff Stone also urged Crawford and his staff to reach out to the Hemet and Murrieta police departments, as well as tribal police forces in the area.

PSEC replaced a decades-old analog system that county officials said was susceptible to dropouts when deputies went into remote areas.

The network, built by Motorola, is not impeded by terrain, buildings and other "blind spots" that can leave deputies without the means to communicate with dispatchers and each other, according to county officials.

Crawford said the new system boasts 95 percent reliability, meaning that for every 100 communication streams, only 5 will be interrupted or delayed. The PSEC network covers about 86 percent of the 7,300-square-mile county, and users can seamlessly tap four separate voice and data channels, including a 4.9 GHz broadband stream, for real-time delivery of information.

Scanner hobbyists are no longer able to tune in sheriff's communications. The new system utilizes signal encryption that prevents the general public from hearing what's being transmitted or received, much like a satellite channel that cannot be accessed without a passkey, according to the Department of Information Technology.

Officials said PSEC equipment has to be custom programmed before any sheriff's channels can be received.

Crawford told the board that the PSEC web portal should be live by the end of the week.


 

4 comments

Comment Profile ImageHELP
Comment #1 | Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 12:34 pm
And now for the bill for this system... Please join our system so that we can pay for the darn thing. Don't worry, we won't overcharge you (too much).
Comment Profile ImageBUZZ
Comment #2 | Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm
RCIT is well known for the great deals they offer as incentives to subscribe to their services and rarely generate customer complaints. This, coupled with their outstanding ability to foster cooperative relationships with other departments and agencies is a winning combination. Who WOULDN'T want to join?
Comment Profile ImageHELP
Comment #3 | Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 at 12:49 pm
So, Buzz, RCIT is the McDonalds of the communications world. McDonalds makes money and pays the bills through volume. What are these great deals and incentives to "subscribe" to their services? How much did it cost for the Press Enterprise building and now the extra room they still need? Are there great deals and incentives for the county? The last great deal cost the taxpayers millions.
Comment Profile ImageAnonymouse
Comment #4 | Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 at 9:59 pm
Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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