Mersey Tunnels Police
Mersey Tunnels Police Adopts APD TETRA Solution at Fraction of Airwave Costs
In 2011, Mersey Tunnels Police deployed a highly cost-effective TETRA communications platform based on the CORTEX Software Integrated Communications Control System (SICCS). Mersey Tunnels Police now has access to group communications with neighbouring forces and services for the first time, at a fraction of the capital and operational cost of a typical Airwave system.
APD has provided a direct integration between Mersey Tunnels Police’s existing CORTEX software platform and the Sepura SRG3500 Mobile Gateway, which acts as a TETRA base station suitable for the force’s small geographic footprint. The combination provides the small force with all of the required communications functionality: individual and group calling, text messaging and most importantly the ability to select and scan talk groups from British Transport Police, local forces and other emergency services. However it doesn’t require the purchase and maintenance of any CCI ports for direct access to the nationwide Airwave network, the costs of which run into thousands each year.
Anthony Tierney, Chief Inspector, Mersey Tunnels Police said: “Our remit and location mean that communication with the forces and services around us is vital, but a typical Airwave solution just wasn’t realistic for a force of our size. APD has really taken the need for forces to do more with less to heart and provided a powerful solution with minimal drain on our resources.”
The CORTEX SICCS system is designed for the needs of the modern emergency services, combining radio dispatch, call handling, video monitoring and web services; allowing control room operators to conduct their duties effortlessly. APD’s experience with larger control room operations means the system is known for its ability to scale, but the experience of Mersey Tunnels Police shows that it is equally applicable in more tactical, cost-constrained environments.
Steve Denison, Managing Director of APD Communications said: “Good communications systems are vital to every police force, but they often come at a cost. In this case we were able to work with our partner Sepura to deliver an innovative alternative that saves the force thousands on both the initial deployment and the annual running costs. It’s great to know that money can now go back into policing on the front line.”
The ability to pool radio connections between workstations adds further value to the combined CORTEX and Sepura solution. Users can connect to and control any radio on the network from any workstation, with audio passed over the network using VoIP. This feature appeals to larger forces who can replace little used CCI ports with radio terminals, lowering operational costs. Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service are already using CORTEX’s VoIP capabilities to share spare CCI ports freed up through pooling by their neighbour, Wiltshire Police.