28 April 2014



Executive Director, Ottawa Police Services Board



Chief of Police, Ottawa Police Service






That the Ottawa Police Services Board approve a delegation of authority to the Chief of Police to purchase Mobile and Portable Radios and associated equipments to a maximum upset limit of $7,177,271.00 (excluding HST) as outlined in this report.




The Ottawa Police’s current fleet of Mobile and Portable Radios are at end of life. The City of Ottawa’s Security and Emergency Management (SEM) Branch is responsible for managing the City’s corporate radio system. The City of Ottawa’s current corporate radio system, utilized for both public and non-public safety applications is known as EDACS (Enhanced Digital Access Communication System). EDACS currently has approximately 5,500 users, (90% City and 10% Federal and other agencies) and was implemented in the 1990’s. EDACS will be end of life in July of 2015.


A consultative process (entitled the Interoperable Mobile Communications Modernization Project) was established involving all radio user groups to articulate user requirements and evaluate emerging technologies. The Executive Sponsors for the P25 radio system Project were Susan Jones, General Manager, Emergency and Protective Services and Jill Skinner, Deputy Chief, Ottawa Police Service.


The Project team’s first recommendation was that the City migrate its radio system to Project 25 (P25) Radio System industry standards.  Project 25 (P25 or APCO-P25) is a suite of standards for digital radio communications for use by federal, state/province and local public safety agencies in North America.  The P25 standard provides a common technical platform to permit interoperable radio communication amongst public safety agencies.


The priorities for the Project were articulated as follows: 1) have a new P25 standards radio system operational by July 2015; 2) improve radio system ‘coverage’ in several identifiable areas of the City where there are currently deficiencies; and, 3) improve operational service interoperability for emergency response and provide for better resource management for day to day operations.



In January 2012, the Project Team’s focus moved to expediting a procurement process for a new corporate radio system as an Interoperable Mobile Communications Managed Service (IMCMS).  The procurement team included the City of Ottawa Supply Branch and the IMCMS Project Team members as well as the following external consultants:  a) Lansdowne Technologies (external radio communications subject matter experts; b) procurement consultants; and c) an external Fairness Advisor.

A detailed Interoperable Mobile Communications Managed Service (IMCMS) procurement process including three (3) stages, a request for information (RFI), a pre-qualification (RFPQ) and a Request for Proposals (RFP), was conducted which has resulted in the City having executed a formal Agreement with Bell Mobility Inc. to construct, commission and deliver as a managed service, a new P25 standards corporate radio system infrastructure by July 2015. 

The new Interoperable Mobile Communications Managed Service is comprised of standards compliant Cassidian Communication’s IP based CORP25 technology which is open and non-proprietary from standpoint of what can be selected insofar as end user subscriber radios and accessories.

The radio system RFP provided for an option for the collective City stakeholders to consider a “2nd envelope” from the successful radio system proponent which provided for a purchase option for new end user or subscriber user gear. This process was substantively concluded in the summer of 2013.


Currently the Ottawa Police Service owns 991 hand-held portables radios utilised by our 1350+ officers and 575+ civilian staffs. As the ratio of radio to employee shows, the Ottawa Police Service has become very efficient over decades of practice in getting every bit of usage out of the radio resources at its disposition. As for mobile radios, 431 vehicles are equipped with mobile radios and a further 29 are required to be deployed as fixed base stations. The total number of mobile radios is being reduced from the current OPS fleet of 499 mobile radios due to the elimination of vehicle-mounted repeaters that were necessary to address coverage issue under the EDACS system.


In addition to the portable and mobile radios, 2 transportable base-stations and 2 transportable repeaters are needed to address local dispatching/communications at special events and specific operations that may require deep in-building coverage (below grade, etc).


Finally, a large portion of the radio transmissions are being recorded for security, training and investigative purposes. The current system in place is not only incapable to record transmission from a P25 based radio system but also incapable to record new NG911 standards coming soon. Therefore, the new radio system will require a new recording solution found within the proposed Exacom recorders. This purchase is off-set by the fact that our current recording solution is at end-of-life and requires to be changed by January 2015, regardless of the transition to a new radio system.


Consequently, on September 30th, 2013 the Supply Branch and Project Team opened the subscriber equipment pricing proposal (Envelope #2) from Bell Mobility Inc.


Bell Mobility chose to offer Ottawa a 10 year commitment on subscriber equipment from three (3) separate radio manufacturers.


A thorough assessment of the three (3) subscriber radio equipment options was conducted by the IMCMS P25 project team and key stakeholder representatives. The consensus decision that is now being recommended to all approving authorities (OPS and elsewhere) is that the “Tait” Mobile and Portable radios represent best overall value for all stakeholders, where new equipment is required*.


 * Note: The only exception, for the Board’s information, is that OC Transpo’s current EDACS fleet of in-field installed Harris radio equipment was only installed in 2009, when they joined the EDACS system, and is already P25 standards capable with a software upgrade. This can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost to replace the equipment. Therefore, no new equipment is required for the IMCMS for OC Transpo except for a P25 software upgrade from Harris Communications to existing onboard bus Harris radio equipment at OC Transpo.


The recommended purchase agreement provides for a fixed purchase price for the selected ‘Tait’ mobile radios, portable radios, base stations and gang chargers which includes ‘Tait Communications’ “Smart Value” ten (10) year warranty plan for all ‘Tait’ devices, ‘Motorola’ transportable repeaters and ‘Exacom’ voice recorders.


The ‘Tait’ “Smart Value” warranty plan is one they can offer to large clients such as the City of Ottawa which over the 10 year IMCMS Agreement will bring the following additional value to each radio at the time of purchase:


·         10 years of Tait–provided service desk, hardware and support services;

·         New batteries for all portable radios which will be shipped at years three, six and nine; and

·         One (1) no cost exchange of each radio for a new one, at year 5 or 6, including full replacement of all “kit” accessories.


The recommended contract award to Bell Mobility also provides for a high level estimate for installation of the Mobile Radios in 431 OPS vehicles.


The purchases that will be made with this delegated authority are:

The following ‘Tait Communications’ Portable and Mobile Radios;

a.    Public Safety Mobile Radio (Tait TM9455)

b.    Public Safety Portable Radio (Tait TP 9460).


A contract award to Bell Mobility Inc. for the supply, installation and maintenance of 460 ea. ‘Tait’ mobile radios, 991 ea. ‘Tait’ portable radios, 2 ea. ‘Tait’ base stations, 173 ea. ‘Tait’ wall-mounted gang-chargers and 2 ea. ‘Motorola’ transportable repeaters at a total estimated cost of $ 6,863,844.00 (excluding HST) which will include all of the following;

a.    A per unit (for all portable and mobile radios) product acquisition cost that includes a ‘Tait’ “Smart Value Plan” ten (10) year warranty;

b.    Costs for ten (10) years of ‘Tait’ maintenance and support  for every portable and mobile radio, and

c.    Installation costs to install the selected ‘Tait’ TM9455 mobile radio in 431 Ottawa Police vehicles.

A contract award to Bell Mobility Inc. for the supply, installation and maintenance of Exacom voice recorders to record and archive the P25 based IMCMS radio system and 911/NG911 system at a total estimated cost of $313,427.00 (ex of applicable net HST).




The public consultation process was not applicable to this component of the project but an extensive internal consultation process was conducted with all current and potential radio system user groups.




Funds identified for this exercise are available within the existing capital budget. The funds requested will cover the purchase of the equipment, associated unrecoverable taxes, the cost to install the radio chargers and the cost to upfit the Communication Centre radio room for new onsite equipment. Funding has been drawn from the vehicle replacement capital projects to offset some of the cost of purchasing the mobile radios to be installed in OPS vehicles. The remainder of the Comm Centre refit project has been allocated to cover the cost of related construction and upfit work.


Project 903450 Portable Radio Replacement total funds                                $6,840,000

Spent to date                                                                                                            ($292,579)

Balance Available                                                                                                   $6,547,421

Purchase of equipment                                                                                         $7,177,271

Unrecoverable taxes                                                                                                  $126,368

Facility upfit                                                                                                                 $300,000

Total project requirement                                                                                       $7,603,639

Shortfall                                                                                                                  ($1,056,218)


The funding strategy to address the identified shortfall is as follows;


Project 904516  Comms/911 refit                                                                             $300,000

Project  903450 Vehicle replacement 2011                                                             $10,000

Project  903450 Vehicle replacement 2012                                                           $263,696

Project  903450 Vehicle replacement 2013                                                           $290,000

Project 906165  2011 Facilities Minor Capital                                                         $72,936

Project 907078  Facilities Strategic Plan 2011                                                      $129,079

Total available to address shortfall of request                                                   $1,065,711




The implementation of the IMCMS (Interoperable Mobile Communication Managed System) to replace the current City of Ottawa radio system requires OPS to replace its fleet of end-of-life portable and mobile radios. It is to be noted that the OPS through creative and aggressive measure was able to manage its previous fleet of mobile and portable radios for 17 years on the EDACS system, almost doubling its expected life cycle. The deployment of a new radio system and an updated fleet of radios will also address historical coverage issues debilitating officers in certain areas of the City. As OPS moves to the newest standard-base radio technologies it will place itself on an even platform with most if not all emergency service providers migrating to the P25 standards within the next few years, therefore enhancing emergency service response interoperability within the City of Ottawa and National Capital Region. 


(Original signed by)


 Charles Bordeleau

Chief of Police


Responsible for report:  Deputy Chief J Skinner