Report Title:

Appropriation; Hawaii County Police; Telecommunications System


Appropriates funds to upgrade the telecommunications system of the Hawaii county police department for fiscal year 2002-2003.


H.B. NO.












SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there is a critical need to upgrade the telecommunications system of the Hawaii county police department to enhance public and police officer safety. This need is evidenced by deficiencies in the present communications system, in the area of inadequate radio coverage, due in part to the distinctive geography of the island, punctuated with the unique topography of the island's many valleys and mountains.

The existing system's unreliability, the inability to restore the system in a timely manner, and channel congestion are also major concerns. Secondary to these problems are the system's lack of voice security, multiple channels required to cover a single district, sporadic in-building service with hand-held two-way radio units, and the overall poor quality of radio communication in specific locations. There are an insufficient number of non-interfering frequencies available in the present communications band to resolve these problems.

Coupled with these inherent problems of the existing system, the county of Hawaii is mandated to make changes in the present radio system, as a result of the Federal Communications Commission rules under part 88, known as the "Refarming Act" and the reallocation by the Commission of the 2 Ghz. microwave (which the county of Hawaii is presently utilizing) to Private Communications Services.

The need to upgrade the county of Hawaii police telecommunications system is evidenced by the overall growth of the population and visitors to the island of Hawaii and the ever increasing number of calls for police service via the E-9 11 emergency telephone system.

The most viable solution to these problems is to upgrade the existing system by acquiring a modern 800 MHZ trunked radio system, coupled with a digital microwave "backbone". The salient reasons for having this type of system are:

(1) The 800 MHZ frequency band has an adequate number of radio channels assigned specifically for public safety;

(2) Hawaii county, itself, has already been allocated 800 MHZ channels as part of the State of Hawaii 800 MHZ regional plan, which has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Since the allocation is exclusively for public safety, it provides a very low potential for radio interference and increased channel privacy.

(3) 800 MHZ trunking technology makes possible much more efficient utilization of the radio spectrum, greatly enhanced functional capabilities, the quickest availability of new technology, and extensive interoperability among different departments or agencies operating on the system. Trunking not only offers frequency efficiency, but will provide maximum flexibility for multiple users, operational applications, expansion capability, flexibility for restructuring, protection from loss of an individual repeater, and other multiple features, including the capability of having mobile data terminals.

The trunking system will overcome the limitations of the existing radio system and permit future growth. The legislature recognizes that this telecommunications system would be instrumental in coordinating the response by county, state, and federal agencies in disaster or other emergency situations.

Acquiring a new loop microwave system, developing additional radio sites, renovating and/or expanding existing sites is paramount as infrastructure is essential for the success of the new trunking radio systems. Experience has demonstrated that 800 MHZ frequency band is very effective for public safety use. There are thousands of systems in operation on the continental United States and two such systems are presently installed in the State of Hawaii in the county of Kauai and the city and county of Honolulu. The county of Maui is presently in the process of installing their own 800 MHZ. trunking system. The 800 MHZ. trunked radio system can provide a common, integrated radio backbone infrastructure that can be shared by all county, state, and federal agencies (i.e., "National Mutual Aid Calling Channels"). Each of the counties in the State of Hawaii that presently operate an 800 MHZ system must maintain an independent radio infrastructure to operate on the assigned frequencies within the 800 MHZ spectrum.

In July of 1995 the Hawaii county council hired a consultant firm, Schema Systems Inc., from Whittier, California which completed an 800 MHZ feasibility study. The study encompassed an analysis of the present radio operations including the existing microwave system and radio facilities. The study also pointed out the deficiencies and the needs and requirements of the individual departments that utilize the system. It also gave an in-depth analysis and conversion costs for transforming the existing VHF system to an 800 MHZ trunked system.

SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $21,226,959 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003, for the Hawaii county police department to do the following:

Detailed 800 MHZ system engineering, system

specifications, bidding and consulting engineer $466,620

Equipment, installation and project management $16,925,770

System/equipment warranty, spare parts and

trunked system test equipment $715,421

Facilities improvement and new site development $2,185,260

Consultant - final and detailed engineering,

system specifications, bidding for 6 Ghz

digital microwave $181,500

One-year system/equipment warranty, equipment

Spare parts, spare loop and hot-standby

terminal, systems test equipment $752,388

TOTAL $21,226,959

SECTION 3. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the county of Hawaii for the purpose of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1,2002.