Havelock’s fire and police radio system is coming in loud and clear after a recent upgrade.

Havelock’s fire and police radio system is coming in loud and clear after a recent upgrade.

“There were coverage issues, or audio quality issues in certain parts of town based on the location and the signal strength of the radio signal, and what we’ve done is upgraded some of our equipment to remedy those problems,” said Chad Ives, information technology director for the city. “It’s only radios. It doesn’t affect any of our phone systems, our messaging systems or any of our chat messaging. It’s only our police and fire and radio systems.”

The city has radio repeaters on two of its water towers, one at Lynnwayne Circle and one at the Brown Boulevard tower at the water plant, in addition to the repeater on the tower at the police station.

“Before, the main tower was Lynnwayne and the system was not intelligent enough to transition between the three towers. It had to be done manually,” Ives said. “What we have done now is integrated some ‘voting’ [booster] equipment so that when an officer or a fireman is in a certain area of town, the repeater will automatically detect the signal strength of the towers for the location that they are in and it will chose the tower that has the stronger signal and it will automatically repeat the audio off that tower back to dispatch and vice versa back to the officer so that they have a higher quality of audio.”

The city also added improvements to the city’s fleet of ambulances to help with radio communications.

“We’ve also done some smaller upgrades to some of the EMS trucks so that there is actually now what we call a voter, which is a booster, so that if an EMS person gets out of the truck and walks into a house, the radio signal is going from his body back to the EMS truck, through the booster and back to the tower, so that he gets a better signal when he’s inside of a building,” Ives said. “We also added some equipment at some of the schools that allow voting inside the schools for the School Resource Officers.”

The $57,583 cost of the system was paid for with the city’s share of state 9-1-1 emergency funds.

“We started the installation back in November,” Ives said. “That was the hardware. We did a lot of testing and configuration before we made it live and we went live about three weeks ago.”

In the last month, the city has been putting out a lot of test tones and driving around to different areas and doing calls trying to tweak the system for optimal use.

“Our goal here is to provide the highest level of service available for our citizens at the most efficient cost,” Ives said.