It is possible that Williamson County falls well from the original definition of "outside agency participation" which must adhere to MRAM Radio SOP. Possibly like other more recent entities like Mount Juliet and Goodlettsville with their own tower sites and frequencies, have more leeway in their participation and own standards.
Also possible the Encryption Standards have changed, which could allow further encryption changes for other system users. Would expect however the latest MRAM Radio SOP to be published and reflect any changes.
Considering the change from Metro Radio to Middle Tennessee based system, possibly MRAM disbanded and/or SOP no longer in place at all. However beyond here on Radio Reference and a mention in news article of becoming a "Middle Tennessee" system, I am finding no governing body change or other documentation to indicate such a change. IE Mayor Briley last reaffirmed all Exec Orders from Mayor Barry, including Executive Order No. 019 — Metro Emergency Radio Management Committee.
In today's current radio climate--to support interoperable communications, for the purpose of media access, and for promoting the spirit of general government transparency and openness--excessive use of encryption should be avoided, especially with routine dispatch communications. Up to this point the agencies using Metro Radio have demonstrated a good practice standard approach that meets that expectation.
If an agency receives the various financial, technical and logistical benefits from sharing Metro Radio assets, I would expect that agency should align with and be expected to follow Metro Radio practices and standards as well.
I added pages to the collaboration wiki for Williamson County Radio IDs and Unknown Talkgroups. Please feel free to update and add info with your findings. Thanks to ka3jjz for getting the templates and pages setup. This info is from my notes and review of initial system testing and related activity that can be heard.
Brentwood PD went live-ish with new radios briefly at least. On Wednesday Brentwood PD had their new talkgroup and some new radios up and running, linked to their UHF dispatch channel, with users still on old radios. While the new talkgroup was encrypted, the activity could still be heard on UHF. They dropped the connection and went back to old UHF radios only for primary operations around midday. New radios are still active on the system, and seeing some occasional activity on that talkgroup over past few days, however that is currently not linked to UHF, and routine dispatch remains on UHF.
Also looks like Brentwood FD having radios installed, likely 20046 as Brentwood FD Dispatch (Encrypted), however not linked or significant activity as of yet, routine operations remain on UHF.
Also heard some County Fire Rescue Squad units going in to get radios installed this week. And possibly Franklin PD and FD with a number of new radios testing as well. See the wiki for further notes on Radio IDs and additional Unknown and/or not yet confirmed talkgroups.
The Williamson County Joint Communications Authority is the legal entity which operates and sets guidelines for the new radio system. Encryption was decided for all agencies (minus Franklin FD) for safety and security. The agencies themselves have little input on the matter of encryption. Everyone is expected to swap to the new system and fulfill the requirements set by the WCJCA.
I got word the other day that February 18th is when Franklin PD is supposed to get radios swapped and go live on new system. The various county agencies and departments are in the process of getting the new radios installed.
So if Franklin FD decided not to, I maybe wrong but the others could decide the same. If they are all under that authority. I guess that may be too late to fight it though because some agencies probably have their channels programmed.
Ya, odd that Franklin FD will be an exception. Good to see there is at least a sole formal entity that is able and responsible for providing countywide communications versus up to every agency for themselves approach. Will leave it to the citizens of Williamson County and Media entities to pursue any further concerns down that way.
Early this week had logged a number of radio tests in the clear from a number of new radios, sounding like agencies testing reception across a number of locations. Did also see more radios show up in the 201xxx range with talk group 20000, likely Franklin PD dispatch ENC.
Right now up to about 200 possible talkgroups between 20000 and 20500 range from Unitrunker based on affiliations and initial testing, and the vast majority that had activity noted were encrypted. Only exceptions for groups in the clear are Franklin FD, Franklin Service/Public Works, Franklin Special Event channels, a group of additional "TAC" channels, and some of the typical Motorola default testing 299xx groups. Suspect we may see some other service/public works in the clear at some point. See wiki for latest unknown talkgroup notes.
Franklin FD, PD went live on Monday/Tuesday this past week. Some Franklin Services going live like Residential Waste. Brentwood PD and FD likely getting close, patches back up and some new radios in use. SO radios getting ready as well, patch up for their dispatch. Talkgroups that can be identified have been submitted. Most patches have been dropped from the Franklin System.
Brentwood PD/FD live this last week. Franklin Residential and Commercial waste as well. Only Transit Ops appears to remain on old Franklin system. Curious to see how quickly that old Franklin system will be shut down, and if any frequencies need to be moved to the new system. Sheriff's Office and/or County EMS still look to be next up. A number of talkgroups are setup with links to WC Ops VHF/UHF channels as well.
Where there is smoke, there is generally fire. I am sure some of these counties don't want to air their radio traffic for reasons beyond "officer safety." I steer clear of Williamson County and the rednecks that live there.
Franklin Transit went live this past week on clear talkgroups. County EMS Dispatch patch now up full time on their encrypted talkgroup. Old Franklin system still online. County Sheriff/EMS the next most obvious to go live based on looking like most of those radios in place, will see if other County Fire Rescue and outlying departments need to come online as well before the remaining cut over.
As of 20:00 last night, WCSO Dispatch and Jail Operations were still being simulcasted on their UHF conventional frequencies. EMS Dispatch, and Fire/Rescue were also still being broadcast on their UHF & VHF frequencies.
April 27th is supposed to be the magical day that all other county services are supposed to migrate over. Not sure about Spring Hill, Fairview, Nolensville. Spring Hill bought APX radios from a non-Motorola dealer that did not have the proper flashcode. Now they are being denied access to the system until they get the proper radios.