STARS agencies

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waynes

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Hi. Listening to STARS on the Richmond tower for a few days. I've heard VSP, Health, VDOT, VDOC, Military Affairs, Buchanan Co., VDEM, radio techs, DGIF, Marine Resources, Forestry and Port.

Have not heard ABC (except on VSP) DMV (except on VSP), Mines, Aviation, Conservation, DEQ, Fire Programs, Juvenile Justice, Agriculture, VITA, Gaming, Occupational Regs, CBBT or Cap PD (they use Metro system mostly.)

Is that about normal? Are the latter just low low low traffic or the dreaded E word?

Thanks.
 

BoxAlarm187

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Best time to catch any Department of Fire Programs traffic (which is still infrequent) is early mornings, say 6a-8a.
 

LeSueurC

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Hi. Listening to STARS on the Richmond tower for a few days. I've heard VSP, Health, VDOT, VDOC, Military Affairs, Buchanan Co., VDEM, radio techs, DGIF, Marine Resources, Forestry and Port.

Have not heard ABC (except on VSP) DMV (except on VSP), Mines, Aviation, Conservation, DEQ, Fire Programs, Juvenile Justice, Agriculture, VITA, Gaming, Occupational Regs, CBBT or Cap PD (they use Metro system mostly.)

Is that about normal? Are the latter just low low low traffic or the dreaded E word?

Thanks.
CBBT PD is gonna be limited to sites in Hampton Roads
 

mejnetguru

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Traffic beyond VSP is going to be very local to the related sites in question. In NoVA we normally only hear VSP and VDOT (often on VSP TGs). Other replier noted CBBT would only be in Hampton Roads area. Probably won't hear much Ag, mining, etc. around Richmond either. Encryption is not used much on STARS.
 

fredva

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Around Fredericksburg, I can hear a fair amount of state correction officers' traffic on STARS as they begin and end prisoner transports. Encryption is used on STARS - the conservation police use it and you will sometimes hear it on VSP tac talkgroups. But my experience when having my WS-1080 opened up to hear all STARS traffic coming across nearby sites is that encryption is used on a small percentage of the transmissions.
 

LeSueurC

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Hi. Listening to STARS on the Richmond tower for a few days. I've heard VSP, Health, VDOT, VDOC, Military Affairs, Buchanan Co., VDEM, radio techs, DGIF, Marine Resources, Forestry and Port.

Have not heard ABC (except on VSP) DMV (except on VSP), Mines, Aviation, Conservation, DEQ, Fire Programs, Juvenile Justice, Agriculture, VITA, Gaming, Occupational Regs, CBBT or Cap PD (they use Metro system mostly.)

Is that about normal? Are the latter just low low low traffic or the dreaded E word?

Thanks.
A lot of those agencies such as Aviation,Gaming,Agriculture,Occupational Regs TG’s haven’t even been identified on STARS, I don’t know what the ranges for them would be.
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Some STARS users updates

Hi. Listening to STARS on the Richmond tower for a few days. I've heard VSP, Health, VDOT, VDOC, Military Affairs, Buchanan Co., VDEM, radio techs, DGIF, Marine Resources, Forestry and Port.

Have not heard ABC (except on VSP) DMV (except on VSP), Mines, Aviation, Conservation, DEQ, Fire Programs, Juvenile Justice, Agriculture, VITA, Gaming, Occupational Regs, CBBT or Cap PD (they use Metro system mostly.)

Is that about normal? Are the latter just low low low traffic or the dreaded E word?

Thanks.
----------------
STARS was like Xmas to a few new state agencies such as the Gaming Commission, which never had requirements for multi-thousand dollar STARS radios when a regular cellphones would suffice. When limited funding for STARS users finally was a reality somebody had to go and one of the first was the Gaming Commission..GONE! It's funding allocation then was transferred to the Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services for STARS radios to be used by the Restaurant Inspectors which are heard infrequently.

In my opinion, taxpayer's monies were a waste for STARS radios for the Dept. of Fire Program. What requires them to have STARS radios to do their job? Why won't smart cellphones suffice? I don't buy the argument about having to have interoperability. They offer training seminars, lectures, etc. You have to have a STARS radio to do that? I don't think so. Nothing I ever heard required them having to have STARS radios. Some of the comms I've heard seemed more closely related to CB Ch. 19 especially on trips from Richmond to NOVA, etc. I will give them this. They have built an empire. They have at least 7 Divisions, Div 1= Richmond (the biggest one); Div 2= Orange; Div 3= Farmville; Div 4= Marion/Roanoke; Div 5= Hampton; Div 6= Unknown; Div 7= Fairfax.

The Dept. of Health has been a big winner as a STARS user and empire builder. VDOH now has 38 Districts statewide all STARS equipped and I suspect affiliated either statewide or to Richmond Division 1 VDOH HQ as the hub. Richmond VDOH is the control station and conducts I believe biweekly or monthly morning checkins from specific districts within the state. Rarely are locations mentioned. The control station knows all of the check ins and talk using personal names.

Dept. of Juvenile Justice launched as a main upcoming STARS user some years ago but in time were less active. They use only HTs. I rarely hear DJJ anymore. The Natural Bridge Region facility closed 5-8 years ago. Only 2 DJJ regions remain open. They are Richmond and Culpeper

Dept. of Military Affairs (DMA) helicopters Medical/S&R are based at the Chesterfield Co. Airport in the (Central Sub Area Sandston/Chesterfield). There also are Northern, Central, Western and Ft. Pickett sub areas.

DMME has 11 Field Inspection areas across the state. For their members personal security I am not going to list the organizational components and locations.

DMV has 7 divisions one for each VSP division. Their law enforcement usually involves using portable scales on major side roads which can be used by truckers to avoid interstate weigh stations.

The closest to a VITA user is the STARS radio techs who are not heard much anymore since STARS installations have been completed. One TG was Ch. 11 which was affiliated statewide. Some of the techs use encryption and some don't.

DGIF is 100% encrypted. The original DGIF policy using STARS was the Game Wardens were to use their vehicle MDTs for all comms except checking on/off duty. STARS voice comms were to be used only for situations such as TAC, special ops, etc. It's a mute point since all voice comms are encrypted.

The Buchanan Co. Sheriff's Office and Grundy Town Police became STARS users 4 or 5 years ago and were affiliated via the STARS system to Richmond Division 1. They are not very active and the techs may have reconfigured their affiliations only to their area's STARS sites and discontinued the Div 1 affiliation

As previously posted, CBBT when I last monitored was affiliated only with the Williamsburg, Hampton, and Chesapeake STARS sites. I suspect the Port Authority is similarly configured.

Another DOA appears to have been the Dept. of Military Justice which reminds me again of the Dept. of Fire Programs. Why would military judges need STARS radios? Why not smart cellphones? Why not a statewide computer system with VOIP capability? Obviously, since it's been over 15 years and no STARS radios yet, time has proven they can get along fine using a telephone, cellphone or pager or both which are much cheaper compared to a $5,000 STARS radio for each user.

Are you aware that VDOT Richmond District 4 has 9 STARS talkgroups but apparently that's not enough? VDOT's solution was to contract with a Richmond DMR (MOTOTRBO) service provider on its' Connect Plus 4 site trs (TG 132 VDOT inter-city road maintenance). It works fine and is cheaper than each impacted VDOT employee using a big buck STARS radio.

There's probably more enough for now. It's been a full day for me as a part of a very large attendance at the Richmond Gun Show and now returning home with a thinner wallet. But there were some good bargains which I couldn't pass up. On two occasions when two uncooperating dealers required me to playing my "Vietnam Veteran" "card", which I am. I also am left handed and traumatized as a child because my school chair desk was only for right handed students.. because I never could do the writing circles and whatever to please the teacher, I was not allowed to go to recess. So, I am a victim, like everybody else seems to be and think a state monthly financial pittance would be nice and help get over my childhood trauma; Also I am senior citizen.

If the dealer is not cooperating, I wait until a large group has formed close by and then shout very loudly several times clearly "Why do you hate veterans". After my third loud shout usually he will agree to whatever just to get rid of me. I call that my "Art of the Squeal". :)

If anyone has any confirmed updates beyond what I listed post them to this thread.

John
W4UVV
 

LeSueurC

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----------------
STARS was like Xmas to a few new state agencies such as the Gaming Commission, which never had requirements for multi-thousand dollar STARS radios when a regular cellphones would suffice. When limited funding for STARS users finally was a reality somebody had to go and one of the first was the Gaming Commission..GONE! It's funding allocation then was transferred to the Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services for STARS radios to be used by the Restaurant Inspectors which are heard infrequently.

In my opinion, taxpayer's monies were a waste for STARS radios for the Dept. of Fire Program. What requires them to have STARS radios to do their job? Why won't smart cellphones suffice? I don't buy the argument about having to have interoperability. They offer training seminars, lectures, etc. You have to have a STARS radio to do that? I don't think so. Nothing I ever heard required them having to have STARS radios. Some of the comms I've heard seemed more closely related to CB Ch. 19 especially on trips from Richmond to NOVA, etc. I will give them this. They have built an empire. They have at least 7 Divisions, Div 1= Richmond (the biggest one); Div 2= Orange; Div 3= Farmville; Div 4= Marion/Roanoke; Div 5= Hampton; Div 6= Unknown; Div 7= Fairfax.

The Dept. of Health has been a big winner as a STARS user and empire builder. VDOH now has 38 Districts statewide all STARS equipped and I suspect affiliated either statewide or to Richmond Division 1 VDOH HQ as the hub. Richmond VDOH is the control station and conducts I believe biweekly or monthly morning checkins from specific districts within the state. Rarely are locations mentioned. The control station knows all of the check ins and talk using personal names.

Dept. of Juvenile Justice launched as a main upcoming STARS user some years ago but in time were less active. They use only HTs. I rarely hear DJJ anymore. The Natural Bridge Region facility closed 5-8 years ago. Only 2 DJJ regions remain open. They are Richmond and Culpeper

Dept. of Military Affairs (DMA) helicopters Medical/S&R are based at the Chesterfield Co. Airport in the (Central Sub Area Sandston/Chesterfield). There also are Northern, Central, Western and Ft. Pickett sub areas.

DMME has 11 Field Inspection areas across the state. For their members personal security I am not going to list the organizational components and locations.

DMV has 7 divisions one for each VSP division. Their law enforcement usually involves using portable scales on major side roads which can be used by truckers to avoid interstate weigh stations.

The closest to a VITA user is the STARS radio techs who are not heard much anymore since STARS installations have been completed. One TG was Ch. 11 which was affiliated statewide. Some of the techs use encryption and some don't.

DGIF is 100% encrypted. The original DGIF policy using STARS was the Game Wardens were to use their vehicle MDTs for all comms except checking on/off duty. STARS voice comms were to be used only for situations such as TAC, special ops, etc. It's a mute point since all voice comms are encrypted.

The Buchanan Co. Sheriff's Office and Grundy Town Police became STARS users 4 or 5 years ago and were affiliated via the STARS system to Richmond Division 1. They are not very active and the techs may have reconfigured their affiliations only to their area's STARS sites and discontinued the Div 1 affiliation

As previously posted, CBBT when I last monitored was affiliated only with the Williamsburg, Hampton, and Chesapeake STARS sites. I suspect the Port Authority is similarly configured.

Another DOA appears to have been the Dept. of Military Justice which reminds me again of the Dept. of Fire Programs. Why would military judges need STARS radios? Why not smart cellphones? Why not a statewide computer system with VOIP capability? Obviously, since it's been over 15 years and no STARS radios yet, time has proven they can get along fine using a telephone, cellphone or pager or both which are much cheaper compared to a $5,000 STARS radio for each user.

Are you aware that VDOT Richmond District 4 has 9 STARS talkgroups but apparently that's not enough? VDOT's solution was to contract with a Richmond DMR (MOTOTRBO) service provider on its' Connect Plus 4 site trs (TG 132 VDOT inter-city road maintenance). It works fine and is cheaper than each impacted VDOT employee using a big buck STARS radio.

There's probably more enough for now. It's been a full day for me as a part of a very large attendance at the Richmond Gun Show and now returning home with a thinner wallet. But there were some good bargains which I couldn't pass up. On two occasions when two uncooperating dealers required me to playing my "Vietnam Veteran" "card", which I am. I also am left handed and traumatized as a child because my school chair desk was only for right handed students.. because I never could do the writing circles and whatever to please the teacher, I was not allowed to go to recess. So, I am a victim, like everybody else seems to be and think a state monthly financial pittance would be nice and help get over my childhood trauma; Also I am senior citizen.

If the dealer is not cooperating, I wait until a large group has formed close by and then shout very loudly several times clearly "Why do you hate veterans". After my third loud shout usually he will agree to whatever just to get rid of me. I call that my "Art of the Squeal". :)

If anyone has any confirmed updates beyond what I listed post them to this thread.

John
W4UVV
I’d say CBBT PD is limited to; Chesapeake,Hampton, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Eastville maybe Accomsc and maybe Franklin. But hear them normally everyday and they still have patches for wreckers and such.
 

waynes

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Messages
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Thanks for the detailed post, John. I hope you got some deals on Midlo Turnpike!

The one that I've not heard or seen hardly anything from is ABC.

I did hear the port pd this week several times. Somebody from the port must have been in town.
 

BoxAlarm187

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Old Dominion
In my opinion, taxpayer's monies were a waste for STARS radios for the Dept. of Fire Program. What requires them to have STARS radios to do their job? Why won't smart cellphones suffice? I don't buy the argument about having to have interoperability. They offer training seminars, lectures, etc. You have to have a STARS radio to do that? I don't think so. Nothing I ever heard required them having to have STARS radios. Some of the comms I've heard seemed more closely related to CB Ch. 19 especially on trips from Richmond to NOVA, etc. I will give them this. They have built an empire. They have at least 7 Divisions, Div 1= Richmond (the biggest one); Div 2= Orange; Div 3= Farmville; Div 4= Marion/Roanoke; Div 5= Hampton; Div 6= Unknown; Div 7= Fairfax.
VDFP has some response capabilities, along with their MIST (mobile incident support team) that responds statewide on local and regional emergencies. No, the radios aren't used much, but it does give them some interoperability with other state agencies. Although a large part of what VDFP does is coordinate and deliver training, they also house the state fire marshal's office.

As for having an "empire," all of their Divisions align with each of the respective VSP Divisions, but they have different names from the VSP Divisions.
1 - Glen Allen
2 - Culpeper
3 - Farmville
4 - Chilhowie
5 - Hampton
6 - Roanoke
7 - Fairfax

Division 7 is by far the smallest, all of the others are more-or-less the same size (related to number of jurisdictions within each).
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
ABC's radio silence

Thanks for the detailed post, John. I hope you got some deals on Midlo Turnpike!

The one that I've not heard or seen hardly anything from is ABC.

I did hear the port pd this week several times. Somebody from the port must have been in town.
-------------

You are correct. They rarely now are heard in my monitoring area. There was period of time 6-7 years ago of frequent ABC comms involving surveillance statewide mainly of businesses selling alcohol to underage individuals. The unconfirmed rumor was ABC upper management noticed many agents were often desk bound. Soon therefore frequent STARS ABC comms appeared for a relatively long time to include some at night.

Then the ABC sting operation in Charlottesville attempting to arrest the UVA female student occurred. Subsequently, ABC STARS comms went silent. I suspect after the bad press the ABC received nationwide, ABC management may have been required to reexamine its' policies, protocols and methods of operation. Maybe one of the recommended changes was less use of STARS radios which could be monitored, although the capability to encrypt exists. Maybe ABC agents now use personal cellphones or even FRS (risky but possible) where possible for surveillance.

FYI below are the Google results for the 2018 ABC lawsuits and cost to VA state taxpayers to date:

Lawsuit #1= 5 year lawsuit of UVA female arrest attempt in parking lot resulting from an ABC string operation cost VA taxpayers $212,500 (plus all legal fees?) plus a letter of apology to the young lady.

Settlement Reached in Elizabeth Daly Suit against Virginia ABC - WVIR NBC29 Charlottesville News, Sports, and Weather
---------
ABC Lawsuit #2= March 2018 lawsuit settlement of UVA Male arrest attempt cost VA taxpayers "almost $250,000" (Plus all legal fees?)

Virginia ABC settles Martese Johnson lawsuit for $250K

July 2018 Total Cost to state taxpayers = $462,500

I wouldn't get my hopes up that the ABC will be using STARS as it did 5+ years ago.

John
W4UVV
 

Eugene

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You mention the VDOH. Funny they use SYARS for whatever they use them for but WILL NOT let their EMS compliance inspectors to have them....even though they are on the road almost every day to remote counties in their area and when they radios pre STRAS they used them to get Troopers to scene they happened upon. Troopers tell my friend....who is one....that they do not understand why they took them away.

Eugene
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
DFP update

VDFP has some response capabilities, along with their MIST (mobile incident support team) that responds statewide on local and regional emergencies. No, the radios aren't used much, but it does give them some interoperability with other state agencies. Although a large part of what VDFP does is coordinate and deliver training, they also house the state fire marshal's office.

As for having an "empire," all of their Divisions align with each of the respective VSP Divisions, but they have different names from the VSP Divisions.
1 - Glen Allen
2 - Culpeper
3 - Farmville
4 - Chilhowie
5 - Hampton
6 - Roanoke
7 - Fairfax

Division 7 is by far the smallest, all of the others are more-or-less the same size (related to number of jurisdictions within each).
-------


Thanks for the DFP update. Chihowie is about 20 miles southwest of Marion in Smyth Co. Personally, I couldn't care less about DFP if it weren't for the high cost of STARS radios for their communications when state issued smartphones would serve 99% their communication requirements. With a state issued smartphone for DFP also could take jpegs or MP4 1080 HD videos and uplink for whatever to whoever wherever. They can't do that with a their $5,000 STARS radios. For interoperability have one DFP STARS phone for each DFP team or group when needed.

Like the other poster asked "what does the Fire Marshal do? Does he/she wait for a state owned facility to have a fire and investigate for arson? Don't his Fire Marshal duties conflict at times with local city and county Fire Marshals?

It's a mute discussion. What's done is done and it is what it is. However, as a taxpayer currently help paying for a "new" local lousy uhf county radio "system" that now is obsolete and to become either a Motorola or Harris(formally MACOM) a new trs. Of course, millions more now of county taxpayer monies will be spent. Again, if it weren't for the $5,000 cost of a STARS radio, it would be more acceptable to me.

Anyway, we disagree on the need for DFP to have to have STARS radios.

Tnx for your reply.

John
W4UVV
 

BoxAlarm187

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Like the other poster asked "what does the Fire Marshal do? Does he/she wait for a state owned facility to have a fire and investigate for arson? Don't his Fire Marshal duties conflict at times with local city and county Fire Marshals?
Did not know VA had a fire Marshall’s office, when would they be called?
The State Fire Marshal's Office has a somewhat different role than what we would expect the local fire marshals to do. Foremost, the SFMO does not do post-fire cause-and-origin investigation - that is handled at the local level, or through the arson & bomb investigators with the Virginia State Police.

The SFMO hosts the weeks-long Virginia Fire Marshal academy for local FM's; they oversee fire code compliance in state owned facilities including colleges, universities, correctional facilities, and state-maintained healthcare facilities; implement new fire safety programs throughout the COV; provide subject-matter expertise to local fire prevention personnel, plans reviewers, and fire marshals; and provide pre-fire inspection and compliance for those localities who do not have their own fire marshals.
 

n4jri

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.



I did hear the port pd this week several times. Somebody from the port must have been in town.


Deepwater terminal has become a VPA port, and I occasionally see VPA vehicles in the area. But no indications of VPA police, who are the actual STARS user. Would be nice if they did, though. Their transmissions can be useful when ship watching in Hampton roads.

73/Allen




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W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Is this VDOH EMS coordinator serious? I hope not

You mention the VDOH. Funny they use SYARS for whatever they use them for but WILL NOT let their EMS compliance inspectors to have them....even though they are on the road almost every day to remote counties in their area and when they radios pre STRAS they used them to get Troopers to scene they happened upon. Troopers tell my friend....who is one....that they do not understand why they took them away.

Eugene
---------------

I remember a few rural counties which had that comm capability. Those days are gone never to return. Use of 39.54 SIRS now is required for contracting all cities and counties if they participated which some them still do not. Some dispatchers mainly in cities found the SIRS comms "too distracting. Some trs port a SIRS call as another trs talkgroup.

As I previously posted, VDOH has 37 Regional Districts statewide. As I understand his/her employee complaint, each of the designated VDOH EMS coordinator employees in each of the 37 District health office locations statewide should be given sole use of the district's STARS radio when he/she is traveling the county or wherever typically somewhere on every work day. The STARS radio would be in his/her's physical possession to contact a State Trooper two appropriate division TAC frequencies to inform him/her of a road accident or other emergency for a faster response.

OMG! News flash! He/she does not need a STARS radio to do that. The argument of that resulting in a faster comm response is no guarantee.
It sounds like a really great idea on paper until you start unraveling the problematic details. That EMS coordinator needs to burst that bubble and move on.

I won't spend the time listing the downsides of that complaint. I will just say it will look like one of the Ft. Lee firing range targets with holes in it after a M16 practice.

He/she should use common sense. It seems to me the EMS coordinator may have a sub-agenda which may involve being on the local tv news. Is he/she so non-tech educated that he/she cannot use a cellphone? What he/she needs to do is immediately dial "777" to the appropriate VSP dispatcher. Report the incident, which will be faster than some private individual attempting to be "special" because he/she can contact a VSP trooper via a STARS radio immediately in case of an emergency. Additionally, the only Health Office's STARS radio is not available for use at the District Office. Bad idea..no, really bad idea!. He/she should get over it and move on.

John
W4UVV
 
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