ASTRO Digital Technology

July 31, 2001

Los Angeles: In 1992, the voting Los Angeles public approved a $235 million dollar bond measure. The purpose of the bond measure was to build two new dispatch centers, one in the metropolitan Los Angeles area and the second in the San Fernando Valley, and to replace the Master Radio System. The Master Radio System is a 56 channel Ultra High Frequency (UHF) simulcast system that utilizes Motorola ASTRO digital technology. In 1996, the Department began deployment of the new ASTROs [radios] however, up until recently, these radios were being operated in an analog mode. Over the last several weeks, the Department has completely switched operation from an analog to digital mode.
Over the course of the switch, the Department and Motorola have received operational feedback from our patrol officers. Officers have voiced concerns over operational aspects of the radio. Some of the most frequently cited concerns by officers include, the frequent fluctuations in volume levels during radio communications, periodic echoing effects during voice transmissions, degradations during unit-to-unit voice communications in the simplex mode and problems during air-to-ground transmissions.
The Department is acutely aware of these concerns and is working in a concerted, cooperative effort with representatives of Motorola to address these issues. Efforts are currently under way to resolve the issues that have been raised. We recognize that some of the issues need to be addressed from a training standpoint.
The Department is very much committed to providing our officers with the best possible equipment and to affording them the type of environment that will allow them to effectively and safely perform their duties. To this end, we are aggressively working with Motorola to make this system the best possible for our officers.
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.