LASD Remove "Busy Tone" effective June 19th

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LAflyer

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Effective June 5th, LASD will disable the "busy tone" on all dispatch channels as part of a 30-day operational assessment.
If the trial proves successful with no noted officer safety issues, the tone will remain disabled permanently.
 

allend

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Effective June 5th, LASD will disable the "busy tone" on all dispatch channels as part of a 30-day operational assessment.
If the trial proves successful with no noted officer safety issues, the tone will remain disabled permanently.
Wonder what the long term plan is once they move over to LA-RICS for good?

That's the big question and concerns
 

CqDx

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I wonder how the sheriffs communicate daily? Normally they can only talk to the dispatcher, the neighboring deputies will hear the beep tone. Let's say if they both stepped out of the vehicle and they need to have radio contact with each other, they switch to TAC channel but wouldn't that mean they both leave the dispatch channel altogether?
 

nd5y

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Wouldn't a PL tone get rid of it?
I assume their UHF system is the set up the same way as the old low band system.
The busy tone is sent along with PL on the repeater output whenever a mobile radio is transmitting. They did it so the mobiles could only hear the dispatchers but the tone lets them know somebody is talking. If the mobiles need to talk to each other they "request the patch". Then the dispatcher would disable the tone temporarily.
 

garys

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I've long wondered why they stick with such an archaic system? LAPD used to have something similar because the chief back then didn't want units to be able to communicate directly. They abandoned that when they went to UHF in the 1980s.

Seems like a negative for officer safety to me, but I'm 3,000 miles away, so there might be factors of which I am not aware.

I assume their UHF system is the set up the same way as the old low band system.
The busy tone is sent along with PL on the repeater output whenever a mobile radio is transmitting. They did it so the mobiles could only hear the dispatchers but the tone lets them know somebody is talking. If the mobiles need to talk to each other they "request the patch". Then the dispatcher would disable the tone temporarily.
 

inigo88

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I wonder how the sheriffs communicate daily? Normally they can only talk to the dispatcher, the neighboring deputies will hear the beep tone. Let's say if they both stepped out of the vehicle and they need to have radio contact with each other, they switch to TAC channel but wouldn't that mean they both leave the dispatch channel altogether?
LASD is a strange agency. I often wondered this as well before living somewhere close enough to scan them.

Each area has two frequencies, a Dispatch channel and an L-TAC (local area tactical). The dispatch frequency has the busy tone but the L-TAC doesn't.

The PSAP (911 call taker) is located at each local sheriff station. The local station dispatcher answers 911 and enters call information into their CAD system.

That CAD info then pops up on another dispatcher's screen at the consolidated Sheriff Communications Center (SCC), who voices the call over the dispatch frequency.

Once the unit is responding to the call, they often switch to L-TAC to coordinate with other responding units "Let's 911b here, I have a tazer", etc. Conveniently, the original station dispatcher is also on L-TAC and assigned a unit ID (for example, Palmdale station dispatch is "260D", Lancaster is "110D", etc). So if the responding units need dispatch to call back "the informant" to get more info on a call, they ask the station dispatcher to do this over L-TAC, not the SCC dispatcher who voiced the call.

If there's a larger incident requiring officer to officer or officer to airship coordination (like a large perimeter, pursuit, foot pursuit) SCC can activate "the patch" on the dispatch channel, which turns repeat mode on and drops the busy signal.

It's a pretty bizarre setup that virtually no other law enforcement agency uses in modern times, but they seem to make the best of it and I haven't really heard any officer safety compromised because of it. When you factor in how SCC uses "dispatcher trunking" to allow for lower staffing levels (their computer system automatically adds and removes dispatch channels to a dispatcher's console based on their work load), it makes sense why they've been so against abaondoning it. Imagine being a deputy assigned to Lancaster and hearing units responding code 3 and wondering if you should be enroute to their call, only to then find out they are in North Hollywood. Then a minute later, you don't hear the North Hollywood units anymore. That would get confusing and annoying. But that's more the fault of the "dispatcher trunking" concept, not the repeater. I'll bet it will still probably be easier to hire more SCC dispatchers and turn busy tone off than it will be to jury rig the busy tone onto LA-RICS.
 
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allend

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LASD is a strange agency. I often wondered this as well before living somewhere close enough to scan them.

Each area has two frequencies, a Dispatch channel and an L-TAC (local area tactical). The dispatch frequency has the busy tone but the L-TAC doesn't.

The PSAP (911 call taker) is located at each local sheriff station. The local station dispatcher answers 911 and enters call information into their CAD system.

That CAD info then pops up on another dispatcher's screen at the consolidated Sheriff Communications Center (SCC), who voices the call over the dispatch frequency.

Once the unit is responding to the call, they often switch to L-TAC to coordinate with other responding units "Let's 911b here, I have a tazer", etc. Conveniently, the original station dispatcher is also on L-TAC and assigned a unit ID (for example, Palmdale station dispatch is "260D", Lancaster is "110D", etc). So if the responding units need dispatch to call back "the informant" to get more info on a call, they ask the station dispatcher to do this over L-TAC, not the SCC dispatcher who voiced the call.

If there's a larger incident requiring officer to officer or officer to airship coordination (like a large perimeter, pursuit, foot pursuit) SCC can activate "the patch" on the dispatch channel, which turns repeat mode on and drops the busy signal.

It's a pretty bizarre setup that virtually no other law enforcement agency uses in modern times, but they seem to make the best of it and I haven't really heard any officer safety compromised because of it. When you factor in how SCC uses "dispatcher trunking" to allow for lower staffing levels (their computer system automatically adds and removes dispatch channels to a dispatcher's console based on their work load), it makes sense why they've been so against abaondoning it. Imagine being a deputy assigned to Lancaster and hearing units responding code 3 and wondering if you should be enroute to their call, only to then find out they are in North Hollywood. Then a minute later, you don't hear the North Hollywood units anymore. That would get confusing and annoying. But that's more the fault of the "dispatcher trunking" concept, not the repeater. I'll bet it will still probably be easier to hire more SCC dispatchers and turn busy tone off than it will be to jury rig the busy tone onto LA-RICS.
From several posts a year ago or so from me when they got the contract from Motorola I figured there was no way they would implement the busy tone into their new Phase II TDMA environment. I bet what's happening is that they are turning off the busy tones to do some sort of testing as well as to see if there is any officer safety issues "which there won't be" and implement the old system into the new TRS system. Patch the old UHF system and building out the new talkgroups and have them both running until they are a 100 percent complete so there is no F ups.

Then who knows whats going to happen next with regards to what talkgroups are going to be in the clear.

But getting rid of the busy tones is a big step moving LASO forward onto the new LA-RICS system probably within this year. But it sure will be interesting to hear both dispatch and mobile units for the time being while it last
 
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CqDx

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Thank you inigo88 for the detailed explanation. I always wondering the L-TAC is a simplex frequency but from what you described it is actually a repeater which is also monitored by station dispatcher. It sounded almost like a two tier dispatcher where SCC oversees all LASD calls but local dispatcher can handle coordination on a call with sheriffs in the field
 

inigo88

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Thank you inigo88 for the detailed explanation. I always wondering the L-TAC is a simplex frequency but from what you described it is actually a repeater which is also monitored by station dispatcher. It sounded almost like a two tier dispatcher where SCC oversees all LASD calls but local dispatcher can handle coordination on a call with sheriffs in the field
That's correct. Both frequencies are on repeaters. The repeat mode is just intentionally turned off on the dispatch frequency in lieu of the busy tone for normal operations.

To be more technically correct, I suspect the dispatch frequency is actually the output frequency of a full duplex output/input frequency pair. Thus the repeater mode would be similar to how CHP does it, by patching the audio from the intput frequency through the dispatch console and back out the output frequency. Hence the name "The patch." I haven't seen anything official to support this theory however.
 

cmdrwill

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We use simplex/direct for unit to unit comms. Either on Dispatch or LTac. Altho this is not condoned...
 

PaulNDaOC

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Wonder what the long term plan is once they move over to LA-RICS for good?

That's the big question and concerns
I don't think there should be much of a transition issue if the dispatchers were to fall back to always starting each radio transmission with station identifier. It is in the SCC pollicy and procedure manual. Otherwise it should just be a matter of the ear adjusting.
 
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PaulNDaOC

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When they turn off the busy tone will they enable repeat for the mobiles so we can hear them without having to listen on a separate repeater input freq?
prcguy
During this 30-day period all that will happen is a tech will flip the same switch as is used for self-dispatch. You will hear all incoming radio traffic repeated.
 

Aero125

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Wonder what the long term plan is once they move over to LA-RICS for good?

That's the big question and concerns
According to Scott Edson. just retired LASD Chief (2 stars on collar) who is now Executive Director of LA-RICS the new radio system on LA-RICS used by LASD will be "end to end encrypted." Those were his exact words.

I guess enjoy LASD, tone or no tone, while we can. The rollout of new equipment will be gradual by different areas and old/new simulcasts in the clear will happen at first.
 
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