Watch: Watertown Police All Clear With New Radios
The lines of communication are all clear for Watertown police, because of an upgrade to the department's radio system.
The department has switched to digital radios and a new frequency. That means if you have a conventional police scanner, you're no longer hearing the Watertown police department.
More importantly, police are hearing each other, better. Watertown police sergeant Mike LaBarge said the old system was problematic, because officers lost service in some buildings in the city.
"So if he was in distress or needed another officer or needed something, his messages weren't getting through," LaBarge explained.
Not the case with a new digital system.
Water police officers and their vehicles were outfitted with the new digital communications system on august 2. And, LaBarge said, so far, so good: "The clarity of the transmissions, being able to understand very well the officers relaying to dispatch."
The new system is part of a $2 million dollar upgrade for Jefferson County, making it easier for the sheriff's department and police departments to communicate. The upgrade has been three years in the making.
The radios now in use can be programmed either way to do analog or digital, because some police departments continue to use analog radios.
(Editor's note: 'analog' and 'digital' are two different ways of transmitting information.)
Saturday, May 18, 2013, Watertown, NY
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