Roanoke police switching radio system for special events

02/18/2014 9:09 AM

02/18/2014 9:10 AM

The Roanoke police department is switching its radio system, a move officials say will simplify communication with other departments when working major events such as races at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Roanoke City Council approved switching from a conventional system to a trunked system at its Feb. 11 meeting. The trunked radio system is used by several other police departments in the area, including Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake and Colleyville.

Roanoke police Chief Gary Johnson said the agreement will make for smoother communication among the departments.

“It’s not necessarily a day-to-day thing, but when there’s a special event and something not routine, it will allow our officers to communicate with these other cities to work together,” Johnson said.

The new trunked radio system allows officers to communicate in a “talk group” using a smaller channel pool instead of dedicated channels for each individual department in a conventional system.

In events like races at the speedway, for example, the new system will allow Roanoke officers to keep tabs on traffic issues on Texas 114, Farm Road 156 and Interstate 35W.

Roanoke will be able to communicate on Fort Worth’s system beginning March 18, a spokeswoman with the Fort Worth police said.

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