The Nevada Highway Patrol's new $10 million radio system crashed for 90 minutes during an evening rush hour last week, forcing northwest Nevada troopers to use an older radio system, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal. One trooper talked to dispatchers using a cellular telephone. “It was a thing we don't have to have happen,” said Bob Wideman of the Nevada Highway Patrol, deputy chief of NHP's northern command. “It wasn't a thing we take lightly. On the other hand, it wasn't a crisis.” A surge in electricity knocked out two controller cards that direct radio traffic over data lines.
The State Board of Examiners, led by Gov. Kenny Guinn, agreed last October to spend about $10 million to buy almost 1,800 new radios from the Massachusetts-based M/A-Com Inc. In March, the Nevada attorney general's office said it would not file charges against those responsible for the state spending $14 million to buy an older system, which operated only three years, despite what it called “certain improprieties.”