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Miami Beach PD Selects IPT Batteries to Protect Personnel from Communication Failures

Date: 2015-10-15
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Miami Beach PD establishes strict criteria for Invitation to Quote (ITQ) in order to retain purchase control while reviewing battery alternatives for Motorola radios and ultimately chose Impact Power Technologies to replace OEM batteries agency-wide.

 

The Miami Beach Department tried a new approach in procuring radio batteries because the ITQ procedure tends to force purchasing from the vendor with the lowest bid, whether or not its product is superior.

The Miami Beach PD depends almost entirely on two-way hand-held radios for its communications. However, the OEM batteries that powered their Motorola XTS 3000/5000 radios couldn’t hold a charge longer than 8 hours, even when new.  Then, like clockwork, the batteries would drastically deteriorate just as the 1-year warranty expired.  Officers literally had to be trained when to immediately recharge or replace upon hearing the “chirp” warning yet, as the OEM batteries aged, they gave almost no notice before dying, leaving officers without communications until they could get to a back-up battery.  Ironically, the OEM blamed its customer for creating bad memory and shortening the life of its battery.  

It became painfully clear that it was time for a change, but getting saddled with a less-than-superior replacement battery due to procurement restrictions was not an option.  Miami Beach PD Tech Lt. David Hernandez, knew they needed a battery that would last longer than a typical 12-hour shift and was determined to find one. 

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“It started with a trade show brochure from Impact Power Technologies (IPT), whose claims sounded too good to be true,” said Lt. Hernandez.  “But when the complimentary battery that IPT supplied tested out at 12 to 18 hours of run time every time, it was a game changer.”   

Thereafter, Miami Beach PD drafted a highly specific ITQ that required every vendor to provide two batteries and one charger for evaluation. The batteries were disseminated to different areas of the Department including car, motorcycle, K-9, ATV, Marine Patrol and SWAT, where they were tested in the field for length of transmitting time and stand-by mode, as well as recharge duration.  Meanwhile, their radio systems tech ran each battery through a series of tests for fit and function (both in the radio and on the officer), connection contact, durability, heat resistance, UL rating, charger agnostics, fit in duty belt holsters, virtually tearing the batteries to pieces in the process.  The upshot?  At every stage of evaluation, IPT was the clear and uncontested leader.  Plus, an unexpected advantage emerged in that the IPT battery was considerably lighter than all others, which would help reduce lower back issues some officers experience when carrying lots of equipment on their duty belts. Additionally, the IPT batteries safely charged on OEM or tri-chemistry chargers just-in-case personnel mixed them up.

Hernandez said, “IPT’s battery performance was like night and day over the OEM or any other battery we tested. It was easy to justify spending a few more dollars to replace the OEM with IPT, especially when we’re getting between double and triple the lifespan in return value.”

Armed with these results, the Miami Beach PD was able to make an initial purchase of approximately 100 IPT batteries. That was a little over two years ago and the IPT batteries are still running strong. Since then, Miami Beach PD has continued to deploy new IPT batteries in phases as part of their annual replacement budget.  

For more information, see www.impactpowertech.com

 - Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via IPT, 10/8/15)

 

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