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Friday October 31st 2014

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Escambia County upgrades radio system

Despite protests from the daily newspaper and others who love police scanners, Escambia County went live on Dec. 11 with the new Digital Project 25 (P25) radio system. This project, a joint venture with Escambia County Public Safety and Escambia County Sherriff’s Office, replaced aging analog radio systems placed in service in the early
1970s. Until this change, law enforcement, ambulance service, fire department and other county agencies operated on numerous independent radio systems. This project consolidated all of these systems into one allowing all emergency responders the abilities to communicate with each other easily and more efficiently.

Additionally Escambia County has met the Federal Communications Commission mandate for narrow banding one year before the deadline of Jan. 1, 2013. The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners approved a $1.2 million dollar contract with Motorola in September 2010. The funding for this project came from Local Option Sales Tax monies and a Department of Justice grant.

Since the radio system was placed in service, responders and dispatchers have voiced numerous accolades on the increased coverage and clarity, according to press release from the county.