Panel decries upgrade glitch on police cars

first_imgA software glitch has interrupted the sweeping overhaul of city emergency communications, which could delay the upgrade of police car computer systems by up to two years, officials said Monday. News about the glitch in the city’s $15 million contract with Northrop Grumman Information Technology drew a strong reaction from the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. The panel declined, temporarily at least, to extend the contract with Northrop Grumman, which has indicated it could take up to two years to fix the problem. The company had earlier said its work integrating the Los Angeles Police Department’s Computer-Aided Dispatch System and Mobile Data Terminals software would be complete late this year. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “The way this has been handled raises other issues,” said Councilman Jack Weiss, chairman of the committee. Noting that more than $13 million has already been paid out in spite of the troubles, Councilman Ed Reyes said there may be implications for other contracts. “How many more million-dollar contracts do we have with this kind of quality control?” Reyes asked. City officials involved in the project said the situation with the mobile computer system is unique, and that extending the contract is necessary to resolve the problems. The panel indicated it would grant an extension before the contract expires in late December, but in the meantime the council members called for a meeting with top city officials and company representatives to get a fuller picture of what happened. The project is part of the city’s $284 million Emergency Command Control Communications System upgrade, which also involves building two new dispatch centers and improving 911 service. It is funded with bond money from Proposition M, which voters approved in 1992. Many of the Proposition M projects have been completed successfully or are on track to succeed, officials said, and the overall program is within its budget. However, an outside consultant recently uncovered problems with one component, the $15 million contract related to computer communication systems in police cars. City officials suggested at Monday’s meeting that the problems were technical ones related to the large scope of the project. A spokeswoman for Northrop Grumman said project representatives could not be reached Monday to explain what happened, but that the company is committed to resolving any problems. Officials said the delay should not cost any additional money, although the committee members questioned the amount that has already been spent. “Have they essentially been paid $13 million for something that doesn’t work?” Weiss asked. As the software problem leaves the upgrade in limbo, police cars will continue to use the voice radio and mobile data terminal systems that were put in place two decades ago. Councilman Bernard Parks, a former LAPD chief, said the current glitch brings back unpleasant memories of some problems when the first mobile computer systems were installed. “This is like deja vu all over again,” he said. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more