Radios for communication are one of the biggest tools that law enforcement uses every day as they patrol communities.
The Lamar County Sheriff’s Department has been operating with a radio system where they have been struggling to talk in some areas of the county.
With a new upgrade, that will no longer be an issue.
“We are changing our radio system, our primary radio system from an 800 megahertz to a 700 megahertz system and we are going to the statewide system,” Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said.
The radios are a step up from what they have normally carried, and have a lot more capabilities.
“It’s going to be a great asset, officer safety, there were some areas that our officers could not talk with dispatch, they couldn’t talk with each other, so this system because there is multiple towers throughout the state it works like a cellular system, it bounces off the closest tower,” Rigel said. “This is such a great thing, we can talk across the state, car to car, we can talk to other agencies and we now have the ability to talk to someone in Jackson or the coast if we needed from right here.”
The county purchased 45 radios for the department with a $160,000 price tag.
“The good thing about it was it didn’t come out of our budget, three quarters of it came out of forfeiture from drug forfeitures and the rest of it came from grants,” Rigel said.
The department will also get the in-car version of the radios, but Rigel said that is secondary to what the department is getting now.
“It may seem like a luxury that we have both radios, the one in the car and the one on your hip, but when you get into a serious situation and stuff you don’t want to have to change over radios and take it out of the charger and all that kind of stuff, you want to be able to have one in your car and one on your hip,” Rigel said.
With ever changing technology, departments have to do their part to keep up.
“You have to keep up with technology and we live in such a techno-savvy world we have to keep up with it,” Rigel said. “Its improvements for the better and it makes the officer safer and the community that he is patrolling safer too."
According to Rigel, constables and other police agencies in the county are on the same system, and the departments radios will be activated next week.