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Update on Amarillo's new public safety radio system

An important communication system in Amarillo is undergoing a major update. Some of the city's emergency responders are being affected by its roll out.

An important communication system in Amarillo is undergoing a major update. Some of the city's emergency responders are being affected by its roll out.

The city's new digital system is supposed to be better and more efficient for police, fire and other public safety agencies; however, there are some kinks. Assistant city manager Kevin Starbuck said those kinks should not affect those who dial for emergency services.

"Yesterday we went live on that system with our fire department and police department and our airport and then tomorrow our EMS agencies that we coordinate with and work with will be going onto the system also," Starbuck said.

The city's brand new public radio system has wrinkles, but, they are being worked out.

"We've identified up to this point with the transition that started yesterday and is continue to I'm go is that we've had one off radio that maybe didn't go over to the radio shop to get reprogrammed." Starbuck said.

Starbuck said the minor problems they are seeing now should not affect those who need help.

"These are minor issues, we expected these issues, we had plans in place and we've been doing coordination meetings with all of our public safety agencies. We had a very robust plan in place throughout the process to work through everyone of these types of things so we knew it would happen," Starbuck said.

Those who may also be experiencing issues, are people who enjoy following public safety communications or just radio communications in general.

"You would have to look at doing an upgrade of the scanner or buying a scanner and it does need to be compatible with a P-25 phase two system that supports trunk communications in the 800 MHz band," Starbuck said.

Starbuck said the goal of the new system is to meet or exceed expectations from before.

"Keeping in mind that the safety of our firefighters in our police officers are paramedics are animal management workers etc. is paramount and this is a great day for Amarillo," Starbuck said.

According to Starbuck, there will also be a transition for public safety agencies next week and he expects Randall County will be combined on the system early next year.


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