Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties Move Forward With Upgrade to Regional Emergency Communications System
The Boone County Fiscal Court, Campbell County Consolidated Dispatch Board and Kenton County Fiscal Court have jointly selected Motorola Solutions to design, build and implement a new 700/800 MHz P25 trunked radio system at a cost of $19,485,134. The award amount includes the system infrastructure and an eleven year service warranty for parts, service, and software/hardware upgrades. This cooperative effort is the largest joint purchasing project ever approved by the three counties and the collaborative approach resulted in substantial savings totaling more than $10 million dollars through the combination of direct discounts and the elimination of redundant equipment rendered unnecessary due to the regional design.
During the past two years, Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties have engaged in a comprehensive study of their communications systems utilizing two independent, professional consulting firms: Trott Communications Group and TUSA Consulting Services. The two studies, pursued independently, came to similar conclusions on the systems currently being utilized by the three counties. These findings included the fact that current technology is at the end of its useful life, coverage is unsatisfactory in many areas of each county, constraints and deficiencies of the current system result in poor signal strength in large buildings and structures and the inability for law enforcement and fire agencies to communicate directly with one another.
The individual studies recommended that a P25 700/800 MHz trunked communication system would provide the best proven technology to meet the long-term needs of public safety personnel in protecting the community. P25 digital radio technology is the nationwide standard for public safety agencies and P25 systems have been, or are being, deployed in several areas around the region such as the State of Ohio, State of Indiana, CVG airport, Lexington, Hamilton County/Cincinnati and Warren County, among others. This technology will provide greatly enhanced communication coverage within the three counties, ensure reliable in-building coverage, and support interoperability with other agencies.
Boone, Campbell and Kenton entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to outline the details of a regional approach for the procurement and deployment of a 700/800 MHz P25 communications system to support all three Counties. The Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) was appointed to serve as the procurement agent and administered the Request for Proposals (RFP) and bidding process. Proposals were received from three qualified bidders and assessed by a team of public safety professionals and administrators including law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical services and emergency management staff from agencies within each county to ensure full participation by first responders during the evaluation. At the conclusion of an extensive review, the committee determined that the proposal from Motorola Solutions represented both the lowest and best bid.
Motorola will move forward with designing and building the 700/800 MHz P25 trunked radio system subject to a successful contract negotiation. The system is anticipated to be live late in the fall/winter of 2018. The regional system will provide seamless ability to communicate among agencies across the three counties; however, no agencies or county dispatch operations will merge and each will continue to act independently.
“The joint purchase of the new digital radio system is an example of local government at its finest. We have provided a tool that is absolutely critical to first responders and our citizens, saved the taxpayers millions of dollars and designed a system that will allow for collaboration across Northern Kentucky. Boone County and the region will benefit from this joint effort for decades.”
- Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore
“While traveling throughout the Commonwealth, I often hear other elected officials admire Northern Kentucky’s regional cooperation and this project is the latest example of that. We’ve put political boundaries aside to provide our public safety first responders with a mission critical, modern radio system all while saving the region’s taxpayers over $10,000,000.”
- Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery
“The new digital 911 radio system represents regional cooperation at its best. Our fire and police departments desperately needed to upgrade their communications platform from analog to digital and, by working together, our three counties were able to deliver to them a modern, state-of-the-art communications system for millions less than we could have achieved individually. The net result – our community, and our first responders, will be safer, and we accomplished this outcome in the most fiscally responsible way possible.”
- Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann
"Motorola Solutions applauds Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties for the collaborative approach they have undertaken to provide Northern Kentucky public safety with a mission-critical communications system that will help them serve and protect the entire region. This regional cooperation means police, fire and other public safety agencies will benefit from an interoperable radio system that will allow first responders to talk to each other across counties and also provides these agencies with years of quality services from Motorola Solutions."
- Robert Rummel, Territory Vice President, Motorola