Marion County Going Digital (RACOM)

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Dec 11, 2016
Ankeny, Iowa
Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt Upgrades Communications

For law enforcement members in Marion County — with a population of 33,000 covered by an office with two lieutenants and 11 county deputies — it was time for a communications upgrade.
The old system

Sheriff Jason Sandholdt and his deputies were relying on a standard, analog VHF system.

“We’re not just a law enforcement agency,” Sandholdt says, “We’re also the public safety answering point for multiple fire departments, both staffed and volunteer, and three Police Departments.”

These rural first responders utilize an analog radio system, which must be maintained.
Next steps

For Sandholdt, it’s been extremely critical to upgrade law enforcement while not abandoning or losing communication with volunteer services.

“We wanted to go with a dual-band radio system,” he says.

This would allow Marion County deputies to go P25 digital and utilize the state’s new Motorola 700 MHz system while also allowing for continual use of analog and P25 VHF if other departments felt this was the best choice for them.

It came down to two companies that could provide the solution: RACOM and Motorola. Sandholdt brought representatives from each in and asked them to show their best. Price was a primary factor in his search as was making sure local offices could provide him the level of service he expects.
The decision

In the end, Sandholdt chose RACOM over Motorola. He selected Kenwood dual-band mobile radios, Harris dual-band portable radios, and Zetron consoles, all provided and serviced by RACOM.
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