ACSO joins other agencies on radio

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

Natchez &8212; Communication between local law enforcement agencies is about to improve.

The Adams County Sheriff&8217;s Office is in the process of switching all of their radio communications over to the same system used by Natchez Police and fire departments.

&8220;The county can talk to them, and they can talk to us,&8221; Sheriff Ronny Brown said.

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In the past, the ACSO has communicated on its own system that other agencies could not listen to or talk on.

NPD, NFD, emergency management, the department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge, all volunteer fire departments, the coroner, county supervisors and the road department all use the 450 Repeater Passport System.

&8220;We want to get on that system and be with everybody and be able to talk with everyone,&8221; Brown said.

Homeland Security dollars will be used to purchase new radio equipment for the department.

All local emergency agencies, with the exception of the ACSO, have been using the Motorola system for about two and a half years, Emergency Management Director George Souderes said.

Each agency has its own channel within the system, and two channels are reserved for area-wide emergency communications.

The Motorola system will get better service when a new radio tower near Foster Mound Road is completed. Foundation work for the new tower began last week, and the actual structure should be under construction within the next two weeks, Souderes said.

Two other towers already exist, one south of town and one downtown.

The tower is funded through 911 funds &8212; money that is collected through a $1 charge on each residential phone line and a $2 business charge.

The ACSO will hang onto their old system, Brown said, as a backup to the new one.