Client Spotlight: City of Meriden can link systems to the state-wide network

The City of Meriden is located in Connecticut, USA. The population of 58,000 is served by 120 Police Officers who have used Tait radios for several years. Like many organizations we support, Meriden’s geography used to cause radio coverage problems and concerns over officer safety. In the following video, Frank Kiernan discusses the solution they found for their coverage and safety concerns. Frank Kiernan is the director of Emergency Communications for the City of Meriden, as well as an Executive Council Representative to APCO. In the video, he covers several important topics that we hope will help your organization as well:

  • Improving their coverage to improve officer safety
  • Moving from analog to digital P25 and preparing for the future
  • Utilizing encryption to protect police operations
  • Saving money by choosing a multi-vendor solution
  • How their Tait radios, Avtec consoles, and Motorola radios can all communicate
  • Incorporating other organizations like education and senior buses into their radio network Visit the website to read the full case study. You can also read the video transcript below: Video Transcript: My name is Frank Kiernan. I’m the director of Emergency Communications for the City of Meriden, Connecticut and I was just recently elected as an Executive Council Representative to APCO, which is the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials. The City of Meriden is located in the center of Connecticut. We’re us a little bit south from Hartford. We have two very high ridges, one on the east side of town and one on the west side of town, which creates a bowl effect, causing issues with radio coverage especially the on-hip portable coverage. We had some issues with the police department. There were concerns over officers’ safety with them not being able contact communications. Our original radio system was an 800 Megahertz analog system. We wanted to move towards the future knowing that most police departments were going to a P25 digital radio. We wanted the ability to provide encryption for the officers as well. We do have a crime suppression unit that deals with some, you know, unsavory characters, and the officers are finding that some of these folks were getting better radio transmissions over applications on their smart phones than our officers were getting on their portables. We put out an R.F.P request for proposals, on replacing our radio system. And we also needed to have the radio system, the current radio system that we are operating on continue to operate while that system was being was being put in place. We learned that it was a multi-vendor solution, that it wasn’t just one particular piece of equipment coming in and handling everything from the mobile units to the consoles to the repeaters. All of those things, it was multi-vendor. We are currently operating both the P25 800 Megahertz digital encrypted police radio system, which, as the backbone from Tait Radio, we have Tait repeaters and Tait mobiles and portables for the police department. Our fire department is operating off a Motorola solution and they are currently V. H.F. and analog. We have both of these radio systems operating off of an Avtec console. We also do low-band paging for our volunteer fire department that’s in the town, as well as our fire station alerting. So it’s one console. We don’t have multiple consoles for the dispatchers to do. One of the main benefits that we have is that it works. Everything works together. If we have a major emergency, which unfortunately are common in Connecticut with hurricanes. We’re lucky enough that we get quite a bit of advanced notice. But to be able to be prepared, to be able to communicate across lines – if you’re working in a school, if that school is being opened up as a shelter, to know that we do have a radio communications with that school without having to hand out a cache of radios and keep track of that type of stuff. The economy of scale, the savings that we realized, is hoping to move us forward to where we can start to incorporate some of the other radio systems that we have within the city, within our dispatch center to bring in the public works, to bring in the board of education, school buses, the senior buses. We already know that we can bring them into our system because our system is open and can take on these additional roles.


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