New Radio System Will Allow Better Communication For Odessa’s First Responders


At this weeks city council meeting in Odessa council members approved spending more than $2 million to replace the city’s current mobile radio system.

For almost a decade the outdated equipment has given Odessa’s first responders the power of communication by controlling all radio talk, and recording the city’s 911 calls.

Odessa’s Director of Information Technology Jana Walker says the current equipment can’t be updated because of it’s age.  

“In technology nine years is a very long time, four years is when things need to be replaced, so one of the benefits will be having, is  the option to upgrade our software and hardware every two years.”

The new system will improve the current Motorola Land Mobile Radio technology, and will include upgrades to the city’s 911 voice and radio recorder hardware and software, the installation of a new generator, an upgraded electrical system, and new dispatch consoles.

One of the perks of the updated system will allow the IT department to upgrade all of the city’s radios touch free through over-the-air programing.

“We currently have to touch each radio if we have to do a system programing, or additional talk groups, so we will be able to program them over the air.”

City councilman Michael Gardner said the expensive decision was an easy one because of  the safety features the new system will provide.

“Our system right now is not as efficient when our officers are inside a building, or say a fireman goes in. they have good communication on the outside but it can be blocked this system here will alleviate a lot of that problem.”

The installation process will take more than 10 months to complete, Walker says that’s time well spent because every city employee using a radio will benefit from the new equipment.

“If we don’t have this system in its tip-top shape the we have the issue of the dispatchers not being able to talk to the fireman or police officers…It has to be reliable, and it has to be upgraded, and we have to keep it up to date, and that goes back to keeping the citizens safe.”

Walker said the new system is targeted to start running October of next year.

The City of Odessa will be installing new licensed microwave technology on the two existing radio towers providing the city’s radio system with much less interference and greater signal when first responders are in buildings

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