Tools

New Radio System will Help Modernize Henderson Co. Sheriff's Dept.

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn.- Law enforcement officials in Henderson County want to make an equipment upgrade in the department's officer radio and dispatch system.

Henderson County Sheriff Brian Duke told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that both Lexington Police and Henderson County Sheriff's Departments are looking into getting a brand new system called Trunked Voice and Data System.

"The way the system is set up now we do have some areas where we don't have the coverage that we need," said Sheriff Duke.

Right now Duke said deputies are working on an analog system which only runs off of one frequency. Dispatchers can not send out more than one call at a time through analog.

"You know how technology is once you get something installed it's almost obsolete, so it's past time for us to upgrade," said Pam Tolley, Henderson County 911 Dispatch Director.

There are dead zones in some parts of the county where deputies have no communication at all. Dispatchers said losing communication with an officer can be dangerous.

"Particularly in the southern part of the county around Sardis and the northeastern part of the county above Natchez Trace State Park," said Sheriff Duke. " There is a lot of static and sometimes no reception at all."

Duke said going to a new digital system will keep deputies connected to dispatchers and increase response time through use of GPS and text messages.

When the dispatchers know they have officers out there on serious called domestics and things of that nature and you can't communicate you don't really know what they are saying or if they need backup," said Tolley. "That's very stressful so we are hoping with this program we will get long range coverage and the areas that we are not being able to cover here."

Lexington Police are also looking into using the same technology so the departments will be able to communicate with each other during emergencies. Duke said he hopes to have the new system in place by August.