Today, a significant number of Florida’s public safety agencies rely on the Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) to provide a critical radio communications lifeline to first responders.
Several years ago, the state decided to upgrade this system and began a process to procure the latest technology built on industry standards for interoperable communications between agencies and officers.
While we recognize that the state of Florida has gone through a lengthy procurement process, whereby they reviewed proposals from qualified vendors and selected the contract that was best for the state, it seems that these proceedings have stalled.
This was a difficult, multi-year bid process for a complicated project, requiring significant upfront costs and infrastructure from the selected vendor. This, combined with a number of legal hurdles that followed the vendor selection, ultimately stalled the enactment of the contract.
Recently, we heard that the state is considering a restart of the procurement process.
Whatever Florida decides, we hope this will be done quickly. The state needs a system with consistent coverage that utilizes the industry-standard Project 25 (P25) radio infrastructure, alongside new and emerging technologies.
It is imperative that the state has the opportunity to select technology from vendors that best serve Floridians.
On behalf of the State Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association, I ask that thoughtful consideration be given to accelerating this process, so Florida can have the right vendor in place quickly.
The contract is set to expire next year, and we are in full support of the Florida Department of Management Services accelerating the process of selecting a vendor to supply this vital service.
Larry Bourdeau is the president of the State Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association.