ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Over the past years, Montgomery County has seen several issues with its public safety radio system, which are those devices first responders use to communicate with one another during an emergency.
They are now making big moves to prevent those hiccups from happening again. After several failures with Montgomery County’s emergency first responder radio system, officials are rolling out a new one. All to improve first responder and resident safety, the county has launched a brand new $42 million public safety radio system. County Executive, Marc Elrich said, “This gives us a pretty seamless system with coverage throughout the county and lots of capacity for growth.”
It was time for an upgrade as problems persisted Mother’s Day weekend in 2019, where the system dropped for nearly 14 hours. The system is used by first responders, dispatchers, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue and Montgomery County Police, along with many other agencies.
Montgomery County Police Chief, Marcus Jones stated, “We have a large landscape of 505 square miles and that coverage is very important for our officer safety.”
To best serve the first responders and more than one million residents, the new Motorola Astro 25 radio system replaces an aging radio network that had become increasingly vulnerable to disruptions. The network has a total of 22 antenna sites, which is an increase from 11 before the upgrade.
The new system is expected to provide enhanced coverage over those problem areas where sometimes signals may not be as strong.