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Port Huron to buy 14 new Motorola radios for police, fire departments for $72,000

Photo courtesy of Motorola Solutions, Inc. The Motorola APX4000 700/800 MHZ portable radio, of which the PHPD is buying eight.

By Jim Bloch

The Port Huron City Council unanimously approved the $71,805 purchase of four new radios for the fire department and 10 radios for the police department.

The council took the action at its regular meeting Oct. 10. Sole-bidder Motorola Solutions, Inc. of Lansing, won the contract to provide the radios.

The fire department will get four Motorola APX6000 XE 2.5 700/800 MHZ portable radios, accessories and spare batteries for $27,511.

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The police department will receive eight portable radios and accessories and two mobile radios for a total of $44,294.

“This is essentially replacing obsolete technology,” said City Manager James Freed, as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on the city’s YouTube channel. “Motorola does hold the state contract — that’s why it’s a sole-source bid.”

Fire department

“These radios will replace four Motorola XTL series portable radios that were placed in service in 2007,” said Freed in his memo about the purchase to Mayor Pauline Repp and the council. “Motorola officially ended support for the XTL series in December 2018. Parts will no longer be available in the official Motorola supply chain once current inventory is expended.”

That lack of support and parts apply to the police XTLs as well.

“Additionally, the APX XE series is specifically designed for fire service use, with ruggedized/oversized controls, additional weatherproofing, and noise cancellation for fire ground use,” said Freed. “These APX XE series radios will be placed in front line service on fire apparatus, with a contingent of XTL radios being relegated to reserve/administrative use.”

The Fire Department will expend money from the General Fund for the purchase, as approved in the department’s current budget.

Police department

The Police Department will buy eight Motorola APX4000 700/800 MHZ portable radios, and two Motorola APX6500 mobile radios, which include accessories and spare batteries. “These radios will replace Motorola XTL series portable and mobile radios that were placed in service in 2007,” said Freed. “The Police Department budgeted for this purchase as a capital improvement project and plans to replace all of their XTL radios over the next six years.”

This was the first round, Freed said. More will follow.

“We will be purchasing encryption technology with this as well, even though we’re not required to right now for fire,” said Freed. “We will be in about three years. So we’re getting ahead of the curve and getting the new encryption technology that will be required.”

“Do our own city employees install this equipment or do we outsource it to another company?” asked council member Bob Mosurak.

“We do it ourselves,” Freed said.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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