The city of Meriden is located in Connecticut, USA. The population of 58,000 is served by 120 Police Officers. The city needed a mission-critical solution that would improve Officer safety, improve coverage challenges and provide a future proof path to connect with the state-wide network.
There were a bunch of things the committee looked at that we liked with regards to the Tait product; it was analog and digital all in one package, and the ruggedness of the radio.Lt. Patrick Gaynor, City of Meriden Police
The safety of Meriden Police staff was at risk with an aging system that failed to provide sufficient radio coverage in all areas of their jurisdiction. The Police Station is surrounded by hills and situated at the bottom of a trough, which poses a significant coverage challenge. The previous radio system was a single site repeater with multiple satellite receivers. The repeater was located on top of a building which happened to be the lowest point in the city, so could not penetrate the hills to reach the low-lying areas.
The main requirement of a new system was to be P25-compliant, in order to be able to work in with neighboring agencies and connect to the state-wide system. A P25 system would allow Meriden to be compliant with the current standards and, in doing so, have a system that could be upgraded and/or migrated to digital when needed.
Meriden also wanted to improve the coverage for the on-hip portable radio, to assist Officers when they have any problems away from the patrol vehicle. They need assurance that any Officer on the street is able to call headquarters to get help at all times.
Tait partner, Marcus Communications, provided the solution of a four-site, two-channel TaitNet P25 simulcast system with Tait P25 TM9100 mobile and TP9100 portable radios.
The Tait solution was chosen because of its capability to improve the safety of staff and was much more cost-effective without compromising the value. The Tait system has built-in redundancy, so if there is a failure at one site the next one in line will take over the duties of voting. The Tait P25 mobile and portable radios have both analog and digital capability, and Tait radios are built with a superior ruggedness to take the drops and knocks of frontline policing without any deterioration in performance.
Tait P25 radios also provide Meriden with logistical benefits; the Tait P25 TM9100 mobile and TP9100 portable radios share the same programming which reduces the time-consuming burden of having to manually enter data into each radio.
Tait P25 base stations, mobiles and portables have all been tested with other P25 manufacturers' equipment as part of the P25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP). This enables Meriden to connect their P25 system to the state-wide network, even if this is established by another manufacturer, and into a P25-compliant third-party console.
With an increase in portable coverage that is predicted, the plan is to bring other emergency services onto the network to improve interoperability throughout the area. In addition, Meriden plans to link the systems to the state-wide network being rolled out in Connecticut, with a wider goal of increasing interoperability between 911 centers.
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This paper explains why this is the case by comparing pricing, specifications and configuration of both trunked and conventional P25 systems.