Pasadena Police Could Partner with Glendale to Share Infrastructure, Operations of a Combined Radio System

Published : Monday, December 4, 2017 | 6:33 AM

Pasadena Radio

Pasadena could be partnering with the City of Glendale to establish a combined radio communication system of a recommendation is approved Monday afternoon by the Public Safety Committee and Monday night by the City Council.

The proposed system would enable the City to maintain regional interoperability while meeting the critical communication requirements of its public safety agencies and municipal services, according to a City staff report.

To achieve this, Pasadena’s Department of Information Technology is recommending that the City Council authorize the City Manager to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Glendale to share “infrastructure and operations of a combined radio system.”

The City Council is set to take action on the recommendation Monday during its regular weekly meeting.

Before the meeting, the recommendation must be examined by and passed by City Council’s Public Safety Committee, which meets earlier Monday.

Since 2011, Pasadena has been a member of the Interagency Communications lnteroperability (ICI) System, a shared system which includes Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Glendale, Montebello, Pomona, Santa Monica, members of the East San Gabriel Valley Communications Joint Powers Authority (Azusa, Covina, Glendora, Irwindale, La Verne, and West Covina) and various other agencies participating as subscribers.

Pasadena has also been part of the Joint Powers Authority for the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LARICS) since 2008, along with many cities in Southern California; with LARICS, the County intended to build a regional radio system that would provide county-wide public safety radio services.

Unfortunately, after many years of setbacks and funding challenges, nearly all ICI member cities have left LARICS to pursue upgrades of their independent radio systems.

LARICS continues to make progress, although its focus has been on meeting communication needs of County agencies and is still years away from having an operable county-wide system.

By partnering with Glendale, Pasadena will have a ready replacement for when the county takes back 15 radio channels loaned to the City as LARICS awaits construction. The radio channels are currently in use by the Pasadena Radio system to meet the City’s communication needs as well as maintain interoperability with the other cities in the ICI system.

The City could also benefit from a $2.2 million grant awarded by the Department of Homeland Security Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) to Glendale to cover the entire cost of reconfiguring the two systems to share radio channels.

In an Agenda Report for the City Council Monday, Phillip Leclair, Pasadena’s Chief of Information Technology, said other than staff time to participate during the reconfiguration work, there will be no other capital expenditures anticipated from the City.

The only other costs would be maintenance and support services for new equipment, expected to increase between $60,000 and $80,000 annually.

Under an existing contract with Motorola Solutions, Inc., Pasadena spends about $194,000 yearly for the maintenance of its radio communication equipment. Leclair said staff will return to the City Council to authorize a new maintenance and support contract with Motorola Solutions, Inc. with the additional annual cost in the next fiscal year.

The recommended Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Glendale will establish the governance structure and framework to combine the independently owned radio systems so they are maintained, managed, and operated collaboratively by both cities.

In addition, both cities will maintain independent ownership of their radio assets and supervise them independently, while continuing to share radio support personnel and in activities that support the effective operations of the combined radio system. Both cities will also maintain their separate membership in the ICI System.

Leclair said the structure of the MOU will also allow both cities to exit the agreement and return to their prior configurations if desired.

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