Talk Radio

In the case of a disaster, St. Louis police will need the whole region on the same wavelength.

M/A-COM sales reps say such a piecemeal approach to procurement is rare. Cities frequently contract for an entire radio system, including the computer switch, says Gallart. That was the case in Independence two years ago. Armed with federal and state grants, the city accepted bids for a $7.7 million contract for its P25 system in July 2004. Motorola won that deal.

Nick Tusa, a New Orleans-based industry consultant, says St. Louis' RFP contained another oddity: There was no pre-bid conference scheduled for interested vendors to inspect the department's current equipment and setup.

"It sounds like they have something in mind they want to buy, and they have a vendor that understands what that something is, and they only expected to get one proposal," explains Tusa.

Peter O. Zierlein

"Absolutely not!" Gastler objects. "We want a competitive environment."

In the end, only two companies — Motorola and M/A-COM — bid on the switch contract.

"I wished I would have seen 100 proposals," says Gastler.

« Previous Page