Amarillo first responders' new communication system to improve public safety

Amarillo first responders' new communication system to improve public safety
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - For first responders, the ability to communicate is their most important weapon.

Now, a new communication system will help take their communication to the next level.

"The city is in the process of replacing our public safety radio communication system," said Assistant City Manager for the City of Amarillo Kevin Starbuck.

"As part of that project, we're installing three new radio towers that will support the infrastructure of that system that will provide two way radio system coverage for our public safety responders; fire department, police department and ultimately all of our field response groups in public works, utilities, parks and rec, and other departments."

The towers will be more robust than the older ones in order to support the updated equipment.

"We're going to a 100 percent brand new radio system," said Starbuck. "So as part of that there is a lot of microwave equipment and radio communications equipment along with antennas and the feed lines that will go on those towers."

The new communication system will allow public safety to respond to incidents more reliably and quickly.

"We've had in the past even areas that we call dead spots where the officers would try to transmit and they either couldn't transmit or couldn't be heard," said Sergeant Brent Barbee with The Amarillo Police Department. "Obviously that's a problem, especially if they need help, but even for routine traffic. My understanding is that the new technology will absolutely eliminate the dead spots and be more reliable."

The APD believes the new radios will make both them and those they serve safer.

"People can now be more sure that we can hear each other, that we can communicate effective, that we can deploy our resources as best as possible, and that we can do everything they expect us to do more reliably and maybe even more quickly with the new communication system," said Sergeant Barbee.

The overall project costs about $8.5 million and is expected to be up and running by next spring.

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