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Philadelphia Hates Its Police Officers

By Wyatt Earp | May 27, 2009

motorola_logoI have thought this way for some time, but this story absolutely proves it. The politicians and the upper management inside the Philadelphia Police Department couldn’t give a rat’s arse about its officers and detectives. That’s a fact.

Why else would they spend $34.5 million – yes, million – on an extended contract with Motorola after the first crappy system they sold us failed at every single turn?!!

You may want to have the duct tape handy before you read this. If the article doesn’t cause your skull to explode, you can always use the tape to fix the Motorola radio system . . . WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY CRASH!!!

Philadelphia is on its way to getting an improved radio emergency system.

A City Council committee today voted in favor of extending its current contract with Motorola Corp. for four years and $34.5 million. The measure now awaits a vote by the full Council.

And with one fell swoop, the members of City Council gave the entire police department the fist. The least they could have done was given us a reach-around.

Though costly, the upgrade is necessary because of the system’s unreliability for the police officers and fire fighters who use it. Councilman Frank Rizzo, the most outspoken critic of the current system and its failures, was absent at the hearing, held by the Public Property and Public Works Committee.

Did you catch that? The upgrade is needed because the system is unreliable. THEN WHY THE FRAK ARE WE EXTENDING MOTOROLA’S CONTRACT???

Oh, and if Rizzo was so “outspoken” about the system failures, why did he see fit to skip the damned hearing??? Your father is rolling over in his grave, Franny. And you can be sure he is ashamed of you.

Councilman Bill Green questioned why there was no request for proposals issued to replace the current Motorola system, saying that may have led to a cheaper alternative. Administration officials responded that issuing an RFP now could delay necessary improvements to the system by a year or more. The current contract expires next June, but if approved by Council in the next few weeks, upgrades would begin in July or August. (H/

This is what I just don’t get. Now, I know I’m a big, dumb guy, but the city has saddled us with an unreliable system that crashes during severe emergency calls – police assists, major fires, etc. We have been using – and complaining about – this terrible system from a terrible company for years, and they never cared. Why would they now worry about a delay of a year or more to find a system – and a network – that won’t jeopardize lives?

The answer is simple: It is because this city, its government, and its police and fire leadership does not care about its officers.

And the local media applauds this insanity as “progress.”

Topics: Philly, The Job | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Philadelphia Hates Its Police Officers”

  1. Doghouse Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    On an unrelated note, Wyatt announced a long-term contract with Motorola as official sponsor of the blog.


  2. AJ Lynch Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    “Philadelphia will get an improved radio system” was dutifully reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    Don’t you just love how the media dutifully transcribes the press release from the city or from Motorola and makes it into a news article? Cripes they should just re-print the prese release and save money by canning the “reporters aka stenographers”. IMHO natch.

  3. WALTERC Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    So is this project being funded by stimulus money? Sounds like it’’s been “shovel ready” for a long time.

  4. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Doghouse – Silly human, the official sponsor of this blog is Mountain Dew – or for you folks in the South, Mello Yello!

    AJ – And people think the MSM gushes over Obama. They have nothing in the Inky and the Daily Snooze.

    WalterC – Shovel ready. Yeah, if we’re digging a money pit.

  5. Doghouse Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Hey, Dew got its start in the South!

  6. Jon Brooks Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Since I work for a large but declining city on the shores of a lake thats erie, I can answer some of your questions.
    I’m in engineering but not I.T., they are a different beast
    entirely. Anyways after the council votes on the RFP and assigns the money (hopefully) it then comes back to We then must prepare a specification that details what we want the system to accomplish, prepare any drawings power, lighting etc. of the new facility, HVAC upgrade is usual on a server room upgrade, then this specification goes thru several layers of people who have absolutely no idea about engineering and are not constrained to any schedule we have such as OEO (Office of Equal Opportunity), Budget and Finance, our boss too, then if all is good and we get a go there is a publishing for bids, the bid meetings, the time the contractor has to take to take the spec and look thru it and come up with his best cost, the bid submittal, the bid evaluation time, the office of OEO yet again, the bid award, then schedule meetings etc. etc. etc. Then you guys get your system. Thats a normal contract approach for anything over 10 large. Now the I.T. dept has a few extra layers, software aquisition, security aspects (that they don’t even tell us (engr) about, and backup power systems, UPS’s etc., as well as Copywright software fees and evaluations etc. There is a quicker way, send it to a design build consultant who does all of the above without the OEO etc. and then they install. Its not much of a time savings but helps. Confused? Good..I still am:) LOL

  7. Smite A. Hippies Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 6:59 pm


    Motorola probably gave a little donation to some “campaign” of the Philly politician downtown that’s in charge of those contracts. :)

    Though on second thought, that can’t be right… there can’t possibly be any corrupt Democrats in Philly. /snark

  8. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    They don’t have the sense God gave a duck.

  9. Kim Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Motorola was the radios we used when I worked security. They never held a charge for more than five minutes and that was if you didn’t have to talk on it. The minute you pressed the button to talk, it died. And these were the new ones.

    Stupid piece of crap radios. Stupid lowest bidder garbage. Grumble, grumble.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. It was quite enjoyable. Remind me to have the popcorn ready next time. LOL

  10. Code Monkey Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Bob Galvin is probably spinning in his grave over what has become of Motorola…

  11. doubleplusundead Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Wyatt, every time you write up stuff like this, I find new respect for the average Philly PD officer. I could not deal with what you guys have to deal with for more than a day or so.

  12. Alan B Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 3:56 am

    3 cheers for Miss Crankipants. And let’s hear it for the ducks. Grand little birds they are. Pity we can’t always say the same about political animals.

    I know the police will do their best but just wait for the criticism when the police fail because the brand new, wondergful super-system goes belly up.

    “We spent $45 million on your system [it will go over budget, of course] and you still can’t do your job …” I can hear it already.

    [Sorry. I'm trying to get the cynicism sorted out but it keeps being put back by the real world]

  13. Lergnom Says:
    May 29th, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Smite had it right. Love to find out who benefits from this atrocity.

  14. Wyatt Earp Says:
    May 29th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Doghouse – I know. One of your best moments!

    Jon – Thanks for the info, but my brain just climbed out of my skull and ran away.

    Smite – This city is heading for ruin. Well, more ruin.

    Mrs. Crankipants – Sad but true. And I’m stuck here until retirement – 22 more years.

    Kim – These things have been a problem since the original contract was awarded. Shows you how much we mean to the politicians.

    Code Monkey – I do believe you’re right.

    Doubleplusundead – Thank you. Just when you think you can’t take any more, something like this comes along and beats you down again.

    Alan B – It’s okay. Stories like these are the reason why I am such a sarcastic bastard.

    Lergnom – Probably most of City Council, the mayor and the police/fire commissioners.

  15. Philadelphia Police Radio System Fails Again | Support Your Local Gunfighter Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    [...] ranted about the new Motorola contract HERE, but I should reiterate the lunacy of giving this failing system from a failing company more [...]