Cameron County agencies upgrading to digital radios

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 9:04am

Cameron County officials say radio upgrades will help their communication, Na'Tassia Finley has more on their transition from analog to digital radios.

Cameron County is going from analog to digital, Humberto Barrera Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator, "It was the best thing 10 to 15 years ago, now it's an outdated piece of equipment."

The new technology is expected to greatly improve communications between emergency personnel, which will in turn provide better service to the community when it comes to response times among other things.

It's also expected to just about eliminate one of the big issues that had affected deputies in route, Humberto Barrera, "Throughout the county, sometimes we have these dead spots, these dead zones, like cellular phones, where you can't talk, where you lose contact, where you may not be able to call for backup."

The $3.3 million dollar system will also allow Cameron County to communicate with Hidalgo and Willacy counties and other cities throughout the Valley who  have already transitioned to digital.

Barrera says the multi-agency communications is a plus, "If one of our officers gets into a, God forbid, high speed pursuit here in Brownsville, he can monitor it through dispatch through Mission or anywhere else."

As of now, not every city in the Valley is operating digitally, but they'll still be able to communicate with those operating via analog if need be, Humberto Barrera, "The system will still hold the old way of doing things, the analog, and the new, which is the digital, it handles both."

The FCC requires that all agencies make the transition to digital frequency by 2015, Cameron County is ahead of the game.

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