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Washington County, U.S. Is Working On New Radio System

Date:Mar 23, 2020

(Source: arkansasonline.com)

The new emergency radio communication system should be in place within 12-18 months after Washington County voters approve a temporary 0.25% business tax to pay the tax.


Captain Josh McConnell in the sheriff's office said that on March 12, the county was working on details of a $ 8.5 million radio system engineering contract.


According to Washington County Treasury Secretary Bobby Hill, voters approved a one-year sales tax on March 3, which will generate about $ 11 million in revenue. The money will be used to purchase equipment (such as 12 dispatch consoles) and build infrastructure including four communication towers.


McConnell said the communications towers will be built in the Hazel Valley area and near Winslow, Morrow and Lincoln. He said that seven of the twelve dispatch consoles will be provided to the sheriff's office and five to the central emergency medical service.


McConnell said the county's old system had allocated about 1,700 radios. The new system may be even fewer, only 1,500.


The system will link to the statewide Arkansas wireless information network, McConnell said. The network is used by state agencies including the Arkansas Police and Prey and Fish Commission, as well as many local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and other emergency services.wats


Fayetteville police and fire departments have been using the network for several years, and Springdale is switching to the new Arkansas wireless information system. In Benton County, Rogers recently adopted the system, and county agencies and the city of Siloam Springs are converting it to the system.


Rogers Police Chief Hayes Minor said city agencies have been using the system since November 2018 and have made "significant upgrades."


"The system we have been using is outdated," Minor said. "The new system provides us with better communication quality and better coverage."


Minor said the system has significantly reduced dead spots, which are areas where older radio systems are not working.


The new emergency radio communication system should be in place within 12-18 months after Washington County voters approve a temporary 0.25% business tax to pay the tax.


Captain Josh McConnell in the sheriff's office said that on March 12, the county was working on details of a $ 8.5 million radio system engineering contract.


According to Washington County Treasury Secretary Bobby Hill, voters approved a one-year sales tax on March 3, which will generate about $ 11 million in revenue. The money will be used to purchase equipment (such as 12 dispatch consoles) and build infrastructure including four communication towers.


McConnell said the communications towers will be built in the Hazel Valley area and near Winslow, Morrow and Lincoln. He said that seven of the twelve dispatch consoles will be provided to the sheriff's office and five to the central emergency medical service.


McConnell said the county's old system had allocated about 1,700 radios. The new system may be even fewer, only 1,500.


The system will link to the statewide Arkansas wireless information network, McConnell said. The network is used by state agencies including the Arkansas Police and Prey and Fish Commission, as well as many local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and other emergency services.


Fayetteville police and fire departments have been using the network for several years, and Springdale is switching to the new Arkansas wireless information system. In Benton County, Rogers recently adopted the system, and county agencies and the city of Siloam Springs are converting it to the system.


Rogers Police Chief Hayes Minor said city agencies have been using the system since November 2018 and have made "significant upgrades."


"The system we have been using is outdated," Minor said. "The new system provides us with better communication quality and better coverage."


Minor said the system has significantly reduced dead spots, which are areas where older radio systems are not working.