PSP and local PD

ihregistry

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I heard the local police bring told of a PSP high speed chase by the County dispatcher. The local Police where going to go assist. The local PD was reporting to county his location and county was reporting back the PSP locations. At no time did I hear the locals state communications with the PSP units. My local PD are all on conventional analog.

How can the locals provide assistance if they are unable to communicate with the PSP units? In the same boat, if the local PD gets in chase with suspects how can they expect assistance from PSP? Am I missing something with the radio communications?
 

GTR8000

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You answered your own question...the dispatcher provides the go-between. The county 911 centers have access to the PSP talkgroups, so they simply relay the info between their local/county units and the PSP. Not everyone needs to have every resource in their radios, sometimes dispatchers can actually provide the function they've been doing for decades, which is to coordinate responses between agencies.
 

ihregistry

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I understand that. It just seems from a time delay stand point and ultimately a safety point the PSP communications could be feed directly to the local PD. And of interest, county said that PSP did not have a track location on the PSP unit. I know there are a lot of areas of dense woods. I just found it kinda odd and interesting to listen to the whole communications.
 

GTR8000

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As the PSP is now on a P25 Phase II trunked system, the locals may not even have that capability in their mobile and portable radios. Even if they did have compatible radios, it's unlikely that the PSP want locals coming up on their talkgroups. In fact, I doubt they share their AES key with anyone other than perhaps agencies that they interop with regularly, such as the feds.
 

n3obl

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They probably had a dispatcher on the line with a psp troop dispatcher relaying. They don't have actual troop channel access at 911.

They never did allow locals to come onto there channels back in day. mobile to mobile was the exception.
 

HM1529

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They probably had a dispatcher on the line with a psp troop dispatcher relaying. They don't have actual troop channel access at 911.

They never did allow locals to come onto there channels back in day. mobile to mobile was the exception.
I would think this is the more likely scenario. By default, county comm centers have access to PEMA talkgroups (including the county hailing talkgroups) and the main PennDOT county maintenance talkgroup that covers the county. If PSP wants direct comms, they will advise a patch be set up via the county interop talkgroup. This is usually what the PSP helos use on assists. The helos have also used VLAW31 or other channels, too.

In some areas, PSP units have the local police channels/talkgroups in their radios. That does not go both ways, however. PSP doesnt even give some other state law enforcement units access to their dispatch talkgroups. They only get access to the Troop level talkgroups and have to hail stations that way.

There were a handful of counties that had special law enforcement interop talkgroups that they used with PSP on the Opensky platform. I have no idea if those were replicated in the switch, or not. There were five of them. I think they were Chester, Westmoreland, Cumberland, Dauphin, and York? Dont quote me on that. Either way, those were just alternate county hailing talkgroup for use by PSP for patches instead of using the main PEMA county hailing talkgroups.
 

ihregistry

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I understand about PSP not opening there frequency to non Pa departments. I also understand that most local small towns like ours couldn't afford to upgrade all the police departments with new p25 radio systems and handhelds.

I guess my thoughts was, when I was in the Navy I remember how screwed up comms got the more ears to mouths it went. Then add the time delay between the PSP car to his station then the station to county dispatcher then county dispatcher to local police. I would think that in these type of events the communication between departments would be more direct but then I understand all the other issues.
 

GTR8000

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They don't have actual troop channel access at 911.
Thanks for the correction, for whatever reason I had it in my head that the local PSAP's could monitor them on the ASTRO 25 system now. I guess PSP is even tighter with those AES keys than I realized!
 

IStebleton

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There were a handful of counties that had special law enforcement interop talkgroups that they used with PSP on the Opensky platform. I have no idea if those were replicated in the switch, or not. There were five of them. I think they were Chester, Westmoreland, Cumberland, Dauphin, and York?
I don't believe Westmoreland has an interop Talkgroup for PSP, however PSP does have the Westmoreland PD channels in their radio, as during a possible active shooter in a school, I heard PSP Troopers talking directly with Westmoreland units on the same channel, no patch involved.
 

One13Truck

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Have to play the relay game. I don’t trust my county’s comm center to properly ensure a pizza is delivered much less relay back & forth between the local and the PSP. But as long as PSP is going to play the “everything we do is super duper no really we mean it top secret” game it is what it is.
 

One13Truck

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I understand about PSP not opening there frequency to non Pa departments. I also understand that most local small towns like ours couldn't afford to upgrade all the police departments with new p25 radio systems and handhelds.

I guess my thoughts was, when I was in the Navy I remember how screwed up comms got the more ears to mouths it went. Then add the time delay between the PSP car to his station then the station to county dispatcher then county dispatcher to local police. I would think that in these type of events the communication between departments would be more direct but then I understand all the other issues.
Welcome to Pennsylvania. The state where the least common sense is the thing most likely to be done.
 

HM1529

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Thanks for the correction, for whatever reason I had it in my head that the local PSAP's could monitor them on the ASTRO 25 system now. I guess PSP is even tighter with those AES keys than I realized!
It is possible this is being implemented county by county as agreements are made. But, it is not something that was implemented universally.
 

mshumeyk

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Reading this thread reminded me of a pursuit in Union County many years ago when I was back in Lewisburg to visit my alma mater. Late on a Saturday night a local PD officer called in a chase that was proceeding outside town limits and requested assistance from the State Police. He calmly reported the vehicle description to County and gave a good intersection where a trooper could intervene. PSP was still on VHF and it was several minutes before the PSP dispatcher finally and in a lackadaisical manner radioed some very unclear directions to the appropriate troop car. Needless to say, when the pursuit reached the intersection where the local expected assistance I heard "There are no state police here! Where are the state police?"

Here in my county in NY we had the opposite problem. Unincorporated areas are covered by both the Sheriff and NYSP, which for years was totally without any real coordination. People needing PD could call either the State Police or the Sheriff, leaving you with a 50% chance or reaching the agency with the closer officer or trooper. So, the NYSP requested permission for their troopers to utilize the Sheriff's radio system for better coordination, but the local sheriff refused as he was very territorial.

Things are better now with a single county 911 center and both the Sheriff's Dept and NYSP on the SO channel. Now the closest unit, regardless of agency responds to calls. Last week we had a stabbing followed by the assailant stealing a car, leading to a wild chase. I am certain there is no way he would have been stopped as quickly as he was had not the Troopers and Deputies been able to coordinate cutting off escape routes and deploying stop sticks by communicating on a single radio channel.
 
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