RCSO to get new communication technology

RCSO to get new communication technology

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Randall County authorities will soon have a new wireless way to communicate with other public safety officers.

The change within the county follows Governor Greg Abbott's recent announcement that Texas will be the latest state to join the newest first responder network, FirstNet.

"This spectrum that FirstNet is over would be available only to first responders, so whenever the public networks are full and nobody can make a call first responders will still be able to talk and send each other information," said Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson.

Richardson said this technology especially helps during times of natural disasters.

"Whenever a disaster hits, people are trying to call out, taking videos and uploading them, trying to make sure their relatives are OK... and all of that goes on the public network, but first responders won't be hampered by all of that traffic," said Richardson.

Richardson said strengthening emergency response communications will increase the level of public safety throughout the state.

First responders who live in rural areas and lack cell service will also benefit from the new network. FirstNet officials will travel to Amarillo Wednesday to assess current equipment.

"If we have a resource that already exists in a particular location that may be advantageous to FirstNet, they might opt to work with on [current] tower space versus building a new tower of their own," said Richardson.

Richardson said he thinks the new FirstNet technology will give law enforcement a bright future.

"It's going to revolutionize law enforcement and first responders," he said. "The ability to transmit data and transfer data, it's going to give us a whole new dimension."

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