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Old 12-05-2017, 12:03 PM
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Smile GATTRS - Austin, Surround Agencies - Help please.

Hey All,

Couple Quick Questions:

#1. APD has dispatch channels - understand
APD has Metro Channels are these used On the Scene of a call ?
APD has LAW channels - what are these for?
APD has TALK channels - what are these for?


* Just trying to see what is important to get in my scanner.

Lastly the Simulcast setup
I know Simulcast 1 has APD / AFD / Pflugerville etc. on it.
Williamson Co. has RRFD / and a few others..

Is there a list of whats on each Simulcast? What agencies?

THANKS SO MUCH...trying to get my Unication G4 all setup.
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Old 12-05-2017, 3:41 PM
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The Metro talkgroups are used for the Metro units which basically do street crimes. Law is used for interoperability stuff. I've yet to see the Talk ones used.
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Old 12-05-2017, 3:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvacs View Post
Hey All,

Couple Quick Questions:

#1. APD has dispatch channels - understand
APD has Metro Channels are these used On the Scene of a call ?
APD has LAW channels - what are these for?
APD has TALK channels - what are these for?


* Just trying to see what is important to get in my scanner.

Lastly the Simulcast setup
I know Simulcast 1 has APD / AFD / Pflugerville etc. on it.
Williamson Co. has RRFD / and a few others..

Is there a list of whats on each Simulcast? What agencies?


THANKS SO MUCH...trying to get my Unication G4 all setup.
From this Wiki page:

Quote:
Simulcast 1 is mostly Public Safety: including APD, EMS, AFD, Travis County Sheriff, Corrections, Travis County Parks
Simulcast 2 is mostly city and county services including convention center, trash, water, streets, signal repair, Austin Energy, Animal Control, flood control, school crossing guards, Parks and Rec, AISD including busses, etc.
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Old 12-05-2017, 4:42 PM
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Thanks Steve and Wes.!!!

@Wes - can you tell me a bit more:
Metro talkgroups are used for the Metro units which basically do street crimes. Law is used for interoperability stuff.

So let's say there was a Domestic Violence call - after dispatched out - does the on the scene or say it was a crime scene would that be on Metro? Or would it be on Law? I understand Law would be like APD contacting Travis Co. Sheriff.
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Old 12-05-2017, 7:26 PM
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The site varies by user. This information may help some.

Simulcast 2 is officially known as E620.

Simulcast 1 is officially known as County Wide.

Also some of the sub-sites for CW and E620 are co-located.

That may help with some what traffic goes where.


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Old 12-06-2017, 8:41 AM
Wes Wes is offline
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No. Metro talkgroups are used pretty much for surveillance and operations by the Metro units. Things like watching car burglars, drug deals, prostitution, etc. The Law talkgroups are used primarily for large incidents.

The vast overwhelming majority of APD radio traffic occur on the sector talkgroups.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:38 PM
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Regarding the "Talk" channels a friend with APD said he had no idea they were in the radio and were never mentioned when they get their SOP guidelines about communications. I was up there last week and heard on one of the Metro channels someone asking if "anyone was using Metro 5?" so I haven't seen any certain order to what unit uses which channel.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:11 AM
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Thanks @Wes - This helps.

When you say "The vast overwhelming majority of APD radio traffic occur on the sector talkgroups." you mean Metro Channels? Or are you saying they stay on the Dispatch channels...sorry - just trying to get this summed up.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:54 AM
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The Metro channels are only used for special detail like special assignments like working a prostitution sting, or trying to catch drug dealers in an area that needs special attention. They will usually pick a metrol channel that is close to a dispatch channel in case they need to switch over. The dispatch channels are used by the normal patrol units, they will never switch channels in the middle of a call unless it was something like a SWAT situation. They stay on the dispatch channels. You don't hear a whole lot once they get to the call because they can put themselves back in service using the data terminal in their car. They can also update facts of the call on the computer terminal. Not all calls even have to be dispatched verbally, they can send them the calls on the computer terminal. I'm hearing less and less from EMS since I assume they are finally using their mobile terminals more.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:32 AM
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For you regular APD listeners do they have a citywide alert tone that goes over all channels for major calls like robbery, shootings, officer in trouble etc...? I have only listened sporadically when up in Austin never long enough to hear anything like that. San Antonio has 7 dispatch channels and an alert tone goes off for major calls on all PD channels like " Shooting in progress xxxx address clearing all but East."
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Old 12-07-2017, 1:25 PM
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They do NOT have a citywide alert; Sometimes you may hear an Officer needs Assistance or a Robbery just occurred but it's not all the time.
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Old 12-21-2017, 8:59 PM
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Bearing in mind that I retired several years ago so things may have changed...
Generally most street units remain on the dispatch channels for calls. The exception to this would be if they were at a situation such as a barricaded subject, large fire ect. In that case the units on the call would be told to go to "Crit 1" or "Crit 2".
Specialized units such as SWAT would use their own channels.
Metro channels are almost never used by street units unless working with a unit such as street crimes, narcotics ect. Law channels were mainly used for coordinating with other departments such as DPS.
As far as a citywide alert tone, that pretty much went out the door when the department went to P25.
Each sector now tones for calls / alerts individually.
The one thing that drove old timers like me crazy was when the "emergency" button was pushed it sounded on a separate channel and not on the dispatch channel, and we would never hear about it until the dispatcher called it.
.. The reasoning, as we were told, was to leave the dispatch channel clear for information and responding units and not being tied up by the emergency tone. Made sense but took a little getting used to.
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Old 12-22-2017, 3:25 PM
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Thanks for the info. I was curious about the citywide alert tone. San Antonio uses it so anyone on any channel can know something major has happened somewhere in the city. Also, if a robbery or something happens near a patrol area border then the next area over already has a heads up. Especially for an officer in trouble.
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Old 12-22-2017, 8:20 PM
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Just to make sure I was clear... tones are still sent out, but they are done individually on each channel.
It is done this way to prevent the tone out from interfering with another call being dispatched or a call from an officer not being heard. If you are in foot pursuit you really don't want a tone for a robbery across town to interfere. It would be toned after the situation was handled.
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Old 12-22-2017, 9:35 PM
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I'm not sure what it meant by the term "tone out" but really NO there is no official Tone out given for inprogress calls. I do remember at one time they would send out a warble noise and announce that a robbery just occured or robbery in progress but I haven't head that in some time with Austin PD. Sometimes they may announce that a neighboring sector is "in pursit" just to give a heads up for those until to scan that other sector so they can hear what is going on but there are strict pursuit policies as to who can get into a pursuit. Normally only 2 units. There is a common term called "hold the channel" or "freeze the channel" meaning for all units to hold their radio traffic (emergency traffic only) that they will use if they are getting on the scene of a volatile situation or perhaps if they are trying to sneak up on someone or something going on. This is accompanied by a constant beep that you will hear it's about every 8 seconds. I get that the beep is to let the units know that the channel is frozen but I sure wouldn't want that if they are trying to sneak up on someone. Other than that, there is no specific guaranteed tone out. They may have one but they don't enforce it. I am from Houston and I am well aware that in Houston they will broadcast all "hot shot" calls on one channel but not in Austin.
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