APD preparing to update radio dispatch system

APD preparing to update radio dispatch system

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A new form of communication will help law enforcement officers better respond to incidents around the panhandle.

We received reports of someone finding their way into the police dispatch system, being obnoxious and using foul language.

But officials believe a new radio system will be their answer to no longer having to deal with these situations.

Radio communication is important between law enforcement officers across the country, and here in Amarillo is no exception. But when someone from the public decides to interfere with the signal, there can be some major issues.

"Somebody could be having fun thinking that they're getting on and a lot of people are hearing them yell, curse, whatever it is on our air, but what it does is it interrupts our radio transmissions where we could be needing to get information to help somebody, or information out to help ourselves so it really does create a danger on something like that," says APD Officer Jeb Hilton.

But this problem will soon be a thing of the past, as APD and other agencies will be converting from analog radio to digital radio. This will allow less opportunity for interference, and a greater range.

"Just as digital technology has revolutionized music and movies and television, we see the same thing now with 2-way radio where we can take that same technology and use it in our 2-way radio systems so you get better encryption, you get better quality of the calls between each other and you get a longer range, plus extra battery life on your devices," says Andrew Brandt, Owner of All Star Computer Service.

"This is supposed to help with our reach as far as being able to get to each other in certain places," says Hilton. "We've got a lot of zones where we just call them dead spots where an officer will be trying to get out reaching dispatch and they just can't be heard."

City officials tell us this is a 30-45 year leap in technology. They anticipate the digital system will be up and running by March of 2018 for public safety.

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