New Radio System In Washington County

Ameila Delon, West and Local News

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         This new proposal for a radio station is for the police and fire departments, and its cost is estimated at around $7 million dollars. The police department is gathering more information for the emergency communication system for Washington County, but they might need to increase sales tax temporarily to pay off the cost of the station so it would go up to about 0.25%. This would raise around $10 million a year, but the vice chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee is still looking for different options instead of a tax increase. Fayetteville was using an AWIN system for multiple years, and Rogers went to the network this last year, and other regions like Siloam Springs, Springdale, and Benton County are on their way to switching as well. With this new system, policemen will be tracked by their portable radios from the police station, “We’re able to see the officers when they’re out of their units and on foot. In a situation, as we had with the plane crash Monday, we would be able to guide them and keep them in a more effective search pattern. On their own, in the woods at night, they might think they’re heading west when they’re not.” says Captain Josh McConnell of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.