It’s so unreliable that troopers are relying on their personal cell phones to communicate according to Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The head of a Virginia State Police advocacy group says the new statewide communications system being developed for the state police and 20 other state agencies is so unreliable that many troopers use their personal cell phones to communicate.
Ken Bumgarner, president of the Virginia State Police Association, said yesterday that the association, consisting of about 2,100 troopers and retired troopers, has been made aware of numerous problems with the system. ((Tyler Whitley. “Communications system for troopers, others is criticized.” Richmond Times-Dispatch. 19 Jun. 2009: <http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/state_regional/state_regional_govtpolitics/article/STAR19_20090618-222804/274738/>.))
I’m sure it’s a great boon to Trooper morale when they don’t know if anyone will hear them when they key their radio to call for backup or to request other assistance.
Here’s another thing to think about: What happens when the cellular phone system goes down or becomes overloaded because of a natural disaster or terrorist attack? How does the state planning on dispatching units and coordinating activities if the main users of the system (the Virginia State Police) rely on their personal cell phones for communications?
And for almost $340,000,000 the state of Virginia has been hoodwinked into purchasing a system that’s over budget — by over $10,000,000 already — and almost a year behind schedule and the main users of the system (State Troopers) don’t even think the system is reliable. They’re the ones whose lives count on the system working or not and they don’t trust it!
This is just one example of the failures in management and leadership by Warner–Kaine. They’re leaving their employees, which have the most dangerous jobs in the state government, with inadequate equipment and nothing has been done to fix these problems even after the Auditor of Public Accounts has had to do two different audits on this project.
When will these problems be fixed and how much will it cost?