Sheriffs Department plans radio upgrade

Published 4:58 pm Monday, May 19, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
If you enjoy listening to the activities of the Escambia County Sheriff's Department on your home scanner, you could be in for a surprising change.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said his department has been notified as being the recipient of more than $130,000 in Department of Homeland Security grant funds that will be used to install a digital radio system for the department.
The new system will have an impact on those who use currently-available scanners that allow hearing the communications of the department, Smith said.
The funds are forthcoming and will be dispersed under two grants from the Department of Homeland Security, Smith said.
Smith said currently the county has towers in Brewton along U.S. 41 and in the Atmore area. The grant funds will allow for an additional tower in the Damascus community.
Smith said although the sheriff's department will be the primary users of the new system, it will also help in emergency situations with other agencies.
Smith said specs for bids are currently being created and installation for the system could be seen within three months.
The funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security grants will be overseen by the county administrators at the request of Smith's department.