Mission Police Department upgrading with new radio equipment

The Mission Police Department is purchasing new radio equipment this year.

The Mission Police Department is getting new portable and mobile radio equipment for its officers.

The city council on July 17 unanimously approved purchasing 40 Harris XL185P portable radios and 18 Harris XL 185M mobiles and related equipment for the police department.

The department’s current portable and mobile radios are about 15 years old, according to a city memo. In 2014, Motorola representatives notified Johnson County agencies using their XTL and XTS radios to let them know the equipment would no longer be supported by the end of 2019. Service could continue to be performed as long as the necessary parts were available, but details on parts availability were vague, Mission city staff noted in the memo.

Radio equipment that demonstrates compliance with P25, the standard for design and manufacture of interoperable digital two-way wireless communication products, is able to meet a set of minimum requirements to fit the needs of public safety. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had previously required all law enforcement agencies receiving federal funding ensure radios had this capability by 2020.

The Mission Police Department tested products from both Motorola and Harris and found the differences in performance and handling of the two brands were “negligible,” according to the memo. Mission ultimately recommended a bid from Harris because it did not secure a complete bid from Motorola.

The radio purchase is $231,433.30, about $6,000 more than what the city had planned for the purchases in its 2019 budget ($225,000). City Administrator Laura Smith said the police department will cover the remaining costs through its 2019 operating budget for equipment.

The purchase agreement includes a $9,000 trade in allowance for mobile radios and a $17,400 trade in allowance for portable radios.

There was no council discussion or public comment before the vote.