Client News

Important Clarification to Editorial in The Tampa Tribune

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Over the weekend, the editors of The Tampa Tribune ran an editorial that contained misinformation about an offer Harris Corporation of Melbourne has made to the State of Florida under a public-private partnership.  Under an existing contract running through 2021, Harris has offered to refresh the State Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) – a statewide network that provides mission critical communication capabilities for 20,000 radios – to new Project 25 technology. P25 would provide officers with better interoperability and new radios, often called a lifeline for law enforcement in the field.

Harris made significant up-front investments to build the SLERS network in 2001. This came after delays and cost overruns from the state’s prior vendor, Motorola. The state then decided to contract with a private company to take ownership of the radio system infrastructure, complete its construction and supervise future maintenance.

Because the editorial failed to provide its readers proper context – relying instead on blogs and columns for information – it warrants a Setting the Record Straight.


CLAIM: “The Florida Sheriffs Association also supports competitive bids, which would best serve law enforcement and taxpayers.”


  • The Florida Sheriffs Association this year stated it supports state efforts to migrate SLERS to P25 “as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” without favoring any particular brand of equipment or method of procurement by the state.


CLAIM: “But the company that holds the contract, which runs out in 2021, is seeking to avoid the competition.”


  • What Harris is seeking is the opportunity to continue to improve the performance of SLERS for the benefit of SLERS users, just as it has done repeatedly through the life of the partnership with the state.
  • This editorial mistakenly assumes or re-reports misinformation that Harris’ offer to refresh the system to new technology affects its current contract with the state.
  • Harris’ offer is within the bounds of its current contract and has no effect on a competitive procurement the state may choose to conduct to run the system after 2021.


CLAIM: “It’s entirely understandable that the company, Harris Corp. of Melbourne, would want to retain the contract.”


  • Harris has not discussed post-2021 procurement with the state.
  • Harris’ discussions have related to its current contract only.


CLAIM: We don’t care who gets the contract, but there should be a competitive process that fairly compares the offerings and ensures the state has a system that adequately meets law enforcement’s needs.


  • Harris won the existing contract through a competitive bid that created the successful public-private partnership, and looks forward to competing for any future contract for post 2021 services.

« Return to News