Montgomery County’s Public Safety Radio System was down for a short period this week. The systems are now up and running.
Officials say the 20-year-old system used by the County Police and Fire & Rescue Services went down due to the system’s towers not syncing.
This raises a public safety concern if residents aren’t able to reach operators in an emergency. “What’s going to be in place to protect everyone from these concerns,” Montgomery County Councilmember, Sidney Katz, questioned.
Katz is also the Chair of the county’s Public Safety Committee. The system experienced issues a few times this year, and it may be beyond its usefulness, which is why Katz said a new system is in the works. “We are going to get a new system, but then again, a new system doesn’t just appear overnight,” Katz stated.
On Tuesday, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services spokesman reported the system was on “condition red, due to an internal technical issue,” meaning non-emergency radio use was restricted. To prevent instances like these, county officials are urging County Executive Elrich to build new towers. “I think it’s a concern, and we need to make certain that this gets solved, it gets solved quickly and that we get our new systems in place,” Katz said.
The Montgomery County Council Committees on Public Safety will be holding a joint session to discuss issues with the county’s emergency services radio communications system on June 18.