Lowndes County Sheriff’s Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office upgrading communications
Published 2:21 pm Monday, September 9, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Captain Chris West Chris and Sheriff John Williams of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office recently announced the purchase of five new hand-held Harris multi-band radios that will help the Sheriff’s Office to communicate with state agencies and fire departments in time of emergency.
Speaking for the Sheriff’s Office, West said it received a $12,000 ADECA (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) grant for five hand-held radios with accessories for the sheriff, chief deputy and investigators for administrative use.
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“We’ve got the GE plant (SABIC) up there, we’ve got the rail system, our waterway system, so, if we have any kind of emergency response need,” West said, the new radios will allow the Sheriff’s Office to talk to state EMA (Emergency Management Agency), fire departments on UHF and the state law enforcement on VHF.
“These will allow atleast some of the officers in the department, including the sheriff and the chief (deputy), who are administrative, to communicate with other agencies when they come, across multiple bands.”
When asked if he was pleased with the grant, West said, “Oh, man, super!”
He said the next move by the Sheriff’s Office will be to upgrade the repeater system. A repeater system takes a signal from one radio and retransmits at a higher power to another.
“Lowndes County currently has one repeater system for law enforcement for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office,” West said. “So, what we’re working on now is to upgrade the repeater that we have now to a digital repeater and getting an additional repeater. Of course, we’ll have to do that through grant funding too.”
He said the Sheriff’s Office will also week additional hand-held radios for deputies that won’t be as complex or multi-band as the ones recently purchased. He said they would also require another grant.