Visit us on Google+

Township Receives Emergency Radio Shipment

One of the new police radios on display Monday in Lower Pottsgrove

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Car-mounted and hand-held fire and police dispatch radios, purchased by Lower Pottsgrove under a Montgomery County program in which the township is repaying a five-year loan of more than $297,000, have arrived and are installed in its police department vehicles and distributed to officers, police Chief Michael Foltz reported Monday (April 3, 2017) to the Board of Commissioners.

Most officers have received additional training in using the new radios, that are in some ways functionally different than antiquated models they replaced, Foltz said. Other officers will be trained in coming weeks, he added.

A new county radio system was necessary to ensure all emergency management personnel and first responders could communicate quickly and easily across the same frequencies and channels. Attempting to solve that problem, however, created more headaches.

The county had difficulty finding a suitable vendor, then had to convince municipalities of the value in switching equipment and also make it easy for them to afford the change. An initial shipment of radios did not work as expected, and had to be returned.

Foltz said he is generally pleased with the new radios. Their signals are clear, and they feature an 8-hour battery with a 12-hour battery option.

However, the gear is heavier and bulkier than earlier models, he added, and the county has yet to switch to commonly used channels. That change should occur later this year, according to the chief. He’s also been advised the radios will operate more quickly, with fewer “weak” coverage spots, when new channels are implemented.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ April 3 meeting):

Photo by The Post Publications

Like what you read? Get even more of it, free. Subscribe to The Post.