Sheriff's radio units are being reviewed

Status
Not open for further replies.

ShawnCowden

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2003
Messages
839
Location
London, Kentucky
Wonder what type of system they will get ???


County hires firm to study communication systems
By CARL BURNETT JR.
The Eagle-Gazette Staff
cburnett@nncogannett.com

LANCASTER - A new communications study has begun that could help prevent a tragedy like the death of Deputy Ethan Collins.

The Fairfield County Commission on June 20 unanimously agreed to hire L. Robert Kimball & Associates, Architects and Engineers, of Pennsylvania to do a complete review of the county's communication systems, including the radio units used by the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office.



"We've been working on trying to find a good firm for several months," said Fairfield County Chief Deputy Jerry Perrigo. "We would like to see the communication system in the county improved."

The death of Collins might have been prevented if gaps in the current radio system had not existed.
Lithopolis police Sgt. Wesley Barton got out of his patrol vehicle Jan. 4 to chase a juvenile who was threatening to kill himself and who reportedly had a razor.

Barton got into a struggle with the juvenile, and dispatchers called for other officers to help Barton.

Collins was one of the officers who answered the call. He was trying to reach Barton when he lost control of his patrol car on State Route 188 and the cruiser went into a ditch outside of Lancaster.

By the time of the accident, Barton had captured the juvenile. Barton tried to call dispatchers to tell them he had the person in custody.

The only problem was the dispatchers couldn't hear Barton. Barton was in an area of the county where radios often do not work.

Following Collins' death, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen went to the county commissioners and asked to have a new study done on the communication coverage.

Mel Meloy, communications supervisor for the Sheriff's Office, said there are four areas in the county where radio communication is lost between deputies and dispatchers.

"In those areas, we can't transmit or receive the radio traffic," Meloy said.

But the scope of the study will look at every tower the county operates and each tower's coverage.

"They are going to look at different types of radio systems we could use and how best to prepare for not only next year, but five and ten years down into the future," Meloy said.

The study is going to cost $20,000 and should be completed by September.




Originally published July 2, 2006
 

xusmarine1979

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,402
Location
Louisville, Ohio
Hey Shawn, do you have a Pro96? I'm just curious of how the coverage is in the county. I haven't been there in at least a year so I really can't remember. But this may be interesting to follow. I think my wife said she knew Collins' family.
 

xusmarine1979

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,402
Location
Louisville, Ohio
Yeah, we're still unsure of exactly where we want to move to in the county. Her family is in Lancaster, but her ex is in Pickerington. But I told her I really don't want to live in the city limits, but yet not in the sticks either. Ok, I was just curious. Thanks.
 

mmartinfan

Member
Banned
Joined
Dec 8, 2002
Messages
1,131
Location
In a house in Ohio
If they are smart they will boost the watts, add a couple towers and stick with what they have since there really is nothing wrong with what they have.

That is the easy way. Now if they want to spend $$$$ they don't have, for a system they don't need, they could go with a P25 or EDACS system they really can't pay for. But hey its not my tax dollars down there. So do what you please.
 
Last edited:

mmartinfan

Member
Banned
Joined
Dec 8, 2002
Messages
1,131
Location
In a house in Ohio
ShawnCowden said:
I would have perfered the hams helping for free insted of paying 20,000 for advice from some crazy firm who is probably a rip off.

ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh that will just piss people off. Someone will be offended and then blame someone else. Someone else then will have his/her feelings hurt they will go running to the Columbus Dispatch (Disgrace) and go crying to mommy about they don't like me.

It is way more complicated, beside several of these companies do this day in and day out. They are very good in what they do.


Plus an added problem is Fairfield County itself. Its large, spread out and has many many type of terrain to deal with.
 

hoser147

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Messages
4,439
Location
Grand Lake St. Marys Ohio
It could get interesting alot of the Sheriff s are looking around and from the Chief Deputy I tallked with they havent got good reveiws of the Marcs system however the Buckeye State Sheriff Assoc just spent big bucks on Comm Trucks spaced thru out the state and It wouldnt surprise me if they try to get something more unmonitorable I HOPE NOT...................hoser147
 

medic611

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
130
Location
NC Foothills
My thoughts on this subject, first i knew deputy collins we worked many scenes together throughout the county. Several years ago the fire departments worked off of one frequency with different pl's on 4 different towers.We learned the hard way that setup was going to cause harm.The decision was made to change each tower frequency and to increase the wattage to 100 watts. The sheriff's department uses a voter system with the main tower at 100 watts on the state prison site just south of lancaster. Smaller towers are used throughout the county to recieve traffic and then broadcast it from the BIS tower.

As we are all aware the Litholopis officer was trying to radio in that he was "ok". The sheriff's network has a small repeater on the litholopis water tower. That site coverageis for litholopis and for canal winchester.It has been discussed in meetings to look into a UHF trunking system forthe county , but cost was a big factor. one suggestion was to place the sheriff's existing equiptment onto the same cell towers the fire equiptment. Those towers range from 180-300 ft in elevation. Increasing the wattage to 100 watts on each tower would dramatically improve coverage. The village of baltimore put its own repeater inservice so its police force could communicate with the dispatch center.

From 1991 to the present coverage in Fairfield county is 100 time's better than in 91. I lived the old low band days when everyone talked on 33.86. I also remember using the 460 radio's that were patched into 33.86 and we use to hear akron fire from baltimore. Currently once in a blue moon we hear skip on a fairfield radio, however it is nice to know that when you mark with a radio and the MDC is correct the dispatcher already knows who's talking to them. Even the sheriff's units have MDC programmed. Maybe out of this tragedy, something positive will come about because of it. The FOP union was the driving force behind getting this study completed.Afterall i'd rather see $ 20,000.00 spent on trying to improve a known problem, than spending it on putting a band aid on a temporary solution.
 

KD8CHP

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
29
I think Fairfield County Sheriff's office ignorance is their biggest enemy. A big waste of money on consulting. Their radio system works better than majority counties in ohio. Blows my mind.
 

xusmarine1979

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,402
Location
Louisville, Ohio
Yeah, it's been a while since I've been there. But I honestly don't think they need anything digital, just a few more sites, that goes for the County FD as well. But if they got something from the state it would be cool to move to MARCS, but that's a long shot.
 

KD8CHP

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
29
MARCS system is just a big waste of money a properly setup UHF Simlucasting system with several receivers and transmitters will do a magnificent job.
 

FPO703

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2001
Messages
2,624
Location
Planet Earth
Let's see, here. Let's weigh the options:

MARCS: Already set up with several sites to offer coverage for entire county.
New System for County Sheriff: new towers, repeaters, frequency assignments, radios (mobile & portable), etc...

If the State of Ohio offers access to MARCS at a good rate, I think it would be less expensive to go that route.

Then again, we don't have much of a say in these things since we're just taxpayers.
 

xusmarine1979

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
1,402
Location
Louisville, Ohio
Now, can someone just give me a quick rundown, what would be better for this situation... UHF, or 800/P-25 possibly. Or even P-25 UHF. Opinions are more than welcome, if need be I'll start a new thread for this. But I'm just curious because I know each band has it's ups & downs.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top