La Crosse County gets rolling on radio upgrade

  • Source: Lacrosse Tribune
  • Published: 10/19/2016 03:10 AM

La Crosse County emergency communications are getting a boost this year and by 2022 will have coverage as good as it can get, given the county’s terrain. By the end of the year, the county will add the first of seven new transmitter sites to improve the county’s radio system, which is used by the sheriff’s department as well as the emergency dispatch center and the highway department. The current four-site Motorola VHF system, built in 1997 at a cost of $1.5 million, has four towers in La Crosse County and two towers in Minnesota that are receive-only sites. It was an acceptable system until 2011, when the Federal Communications Commission mandated “narrowbanding” of radio frequencies. Since 2011, the dispatch center has had trouble receiving transmissions from handheld radios from some parts of the county, uneven coverage over different channels and incomplete coverage for paging emergency responders.


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