New England News
3:39 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

New Police Radio System Activated In Western Massachusetts

The Massachusetts State Police, Tuesday, activated a new digital radio system in western Massachusetts. It promises to enhance public safety through improved communications.

A new all digital radio system covering the western third of the state will improve communications for Massachusetts State Police, local police , and other public safety agencies as they patrol rural roads, investigate crimes and respond to emergencies.  Col. Timothy Alben, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police formally switched on the new radio system, Tuesday, at the state police barracks in Russell.

The new radio system cost $42 million. It took more than ten years to design and build the system which includes 28 radio towers linked by microwave relays.  Base radios are installed at 8 state police barracks. It replaces what  Alben called an old patchwork of analog radios that operated on different bands, and had significant dead spots in the valleys and behind the hills of western Massachusetts.

Every state trooper who ever worked in western Massachusetts knew  of the problems with communications.

The new system will provide significantly enhanced service for portable police radios. A badly needed improvement according to veteran state trooper George Beaupre.

Besides increasing the comfort level for police in the field, the new radios could also save lives.

Local police departments will be able to tie into the new radio system.  Chief Robert Garripy, of Huntington says the state police are the primary police agency in the town of 2200 people.

The new radio system in western Massachusetts is the only digital one operated by the state police. An analog radio system  is used in the rest of the state.