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Macon county, IL law enforcement getting funding for new radios

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zman9119

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Macon county law enforcement getting funding for new radios (From Wand-TV 17)

Macon county law enforcement officers are getting the help they asked for.

Decatur police and the Macon County Sheriff's Office are getting the funding to change over to Starcomm emergency radios.

Currently, officers use analog radios that get bad reception in parts of the city and county, sometimes making it hard for 911 dispatchers to contact police.

Now, the Macon County Emergency Telephone Systems Board is putting the requested $500,000 toward the project.

It's also funded by a homeland security grant and the city of Decatur.

"It's truly an intergovernmental operation benefitting all citizens of Macon County, city police, sheriff's department and fire departments," said Deputy Chief Ed Smith with Decatur police.

All emergency responders in Macon County will eventually be upgraded to the new radios.
 
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KB9LIQ

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The reason it is hard for dispatch to get to all officers is because the system was not designed to work for the sheriffs department. They switched from a VHF system that is still up and working great, funny they didn't want to spend any money on it and that is why they switched. But yet they have kept the system up and running anyway. Now they want to spend more tax payers dollars for new radio at high dollar. Motorola has a way of getting rich off of the taxpayer. From what I know the city has starcom radios so they can talk with outside agencys so why spend the money to give everybody one? If they would dig up the old news when they switched to the system they have now you would hear them saying how great the new system would be but now it just doesn't work now. Why? Nothing has chagnged in the coverage area since the system was put in. Plus they want all the fire departent to switch too. Which means they will have to keep the VHF system so they can still page them all. More waste of money. Just my 2 cents.
 

cubn

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Does the sheriff's dept still use the VHF repeater when the 800 MHz radios can't get a signal? I heard 155.250 used once while I was in Decatur a few years ago but didn't hear enough to get a since of how the frequency was being used.
 

KB9LIQ

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Yes the last time I checked they had VHF mobile in the cars they could use on 155.250
 

zman9119

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KC9LIQ you are right, MC Sherriff Deputies have a portable 800 radio on them and a VHF mobile.

As of right now, the county fire departments are refusing to switch to StarCom (there thought is because of MABAS... well hell, half the departments do not have any MABAS freqs in there radio, let alone know anything about MABAS except they get free crap from them). The county radio system (VHF simplex and the "old Sheriffs main voter system) will be maintained as it always has been by EMA. The Sheriffs department did pay some money into up keep but they will stop paying once they switch to StarCom.

The old 800 system was designed just for the city. It was not intended to cover any of the county at all. When you have a county agency switch over from a 5 tower system spread out over the county to a single tower system that is based in the city, of course you are going to have problems. The main issue they do not state is that the old VHF system also had dead spots, just like the 800 system. Yes, StarCom "should" have more coverage with the 3 county-wide towers, but has it been tested well enough yet on our area?


I think the one side that no one looked at on the dumping the current 800 system when DPD applied for this grant is all the other agencies besides fire and police that use the current system. You have the park district, public transportation, public works, and all the other extra organizations that will have to switch over with new equipment and how are they going to pay for it? All the current 800 channels will be "given" to StarCom so there won't be a backup.

For the police and sheriff departments to switch to StarCom, I do not think it will be a bad thing. City fire - I do not know. County fire... that is just a whole other story. I think switching might not be bad, as you would be able to hear what is going on in the county fire-wise at all times, but the paging issue is a major thing holding them back (along with no simplex fireground channels). If they patched a StarCom TG and County Fire Dispatch on VHF for paging (like McLean county), and added some 800 simplex channels, I do not see a problem. But, as you know KC9LIQ, most of the FDs in this county aren't too advance on knowledge about how new technology works (and I know of one Chief that thinks his idea is the best and will fight to the death even if it is wrong).
 

KB9LIQ

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Did you see the newspaper today? I read the online version and it said the Illinois State Police was using a new system called ComStar. Got to love the poeple that proof read this stuff
 
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