NORTHWOOD, OH (WTOL) – Northwood Police Chief Thomas Cairl says his officers sometimes have problems communicating with each other and other departments. He is hoping a switch to Lucas County's emergency radio system will be the solution.
"We had a holdup alarm at Fifth Third Bank," Cairl said. "And when we responded to that call, Oregon heard that call as well. And when they heard the call they responded, but my officers could not talk to those officers in the same parking lot. It's a safety concern, we need to address that."
Cairl says the main issue with the towers that allow them to send and receive radio signals. Northwood Police Department only has access to one; Lucas County has twelve. Cairl says being able to use those twelve towers will make a big difference.
"When a person calls for help, we need to get there and get there safely and actually communicate with everyone else and let them know what's going on," Cairl said. "So it is critical and paramount to our operations communications."
Other areas of Wood County have already switched or are in the process of switching to Lucas County's radio system. Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says he looked into making a county-wide transition, but he did not believe it would be prudent.
"We were given an estimate of well over ten million dollars for us to buy radios and put up the needed towers," Wasylyshyn said. "And then we would still be beholden to Lucas County for that system. And we just couldn't justify spending all that money and not even having our own system."
The Sheriff says Wood County is investing in radio system improvements, even though he says the system functions well and is cost-effective.
"We can buy radios all day long, portables and-or mobiles for 800 dollars a piece versus five thousand dollars a piece with the Lucas County system," he said.
The Sheriff says individual departments - like Northwood - need to do what is in their own best interests.
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