911 Board Wants to Give Communications Bridge More of a Test


Published on September 25 2012 1:44 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham County 911 board members are still unsure whether they've found a way to improve communication between law enforcement officers when they're out of their squad cars, so the test will continue.

The problem of county sheriff's deputies and city police officers being unable to hear each other while on foot has existed since the city police department switched to the Starcom system.  A "patch" was tried, but Randy Neal of Barbeck Communications said it wasn't going to work because of a time delay.  The delay would sometimes key the system, causing additional communications problems.

Beginning 5pm Monday, 911 began using the city's "bridge" purchased with grant funds in 2002 and using portables stuck in chargers to keep them powered.  The experiment was working as of noon Tuesday, but there are concerns whether keeping the portables plugged into the chargers could eventually cause noise on the system.  Mobile units, more like base units than the portables, which are typically hand-held, would provide better shielding and would be less likely to cause interference on the system and could be plugged in rather than the portables that have to sit in chargers to stay powered.

The consensus was to see how this system works, and to utilize the mobiles once compatible cabling is acquired, and to report the findings at the next regular 911 Board meeting on October 9.

Telecommunicators present want to see how the experimental system would work in case of a major event that involved multiple law enforcement agencies providing traffic.