Oakland Sticking With $18 Million Police Radio System, Despite Failures


City leaders won’t rush to replace Oakland’s unreliable public safety radio system that failed police officers again Monday night while protesters marched through city streets shortly after a visit from President Obama, reports the city’s Tribune. City Administrator Deanna Santana acknowledged persistent radio problems but said the city wasn’t ready yet to scrap the $18 million system installed just one year ago in favor of a regional system scheduled to come online in September.

Police reported radio failures about 10 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after President Obama wrapped up a fundraiser at the Fox Theater. Lt. Fred Mestas said the officers lost communication with dispatchers for about a half-hour while about 100 protesters meandered through the downtown. Police quickly overcame the radio troubles, which didn’t impact the department’s ability to police Obama’s visit or the accompanying protests, Chief Howard Jordan said. The radio issues were caused by a broken cooling system in one of Oakland’s three antennae installations. The installation was repaired and working again by 4 p.m. the next day, city officials said.

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