Preparedness

Wilson County, N.C., Upgrades Emergency Radio System

The new system will help deputies communicate directly with other law enforcement agencies instead of going through 911 operators to do so.

by Olivia Neeley olivia@wilson, The Wilson Daily Times, N.C. / July 11, 2018

(TNS) - The Wilson County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office is one step closer to getting its new VIPER communications system up and running.

That new system includes 800-megahertz radios for deputies. Sheriff Calvin Woodard told commissioners all the equipment is in.

“I can honestly say, the deputies are very, very, very excited,” Woodard told commissioners during Monday night’s meeting. “Thank y’all so much for believing in us and allowing this to happen.”

Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution transferring ownership of the county's radio network infrastructure to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, which will maintain it for county use. The roughly $1 million project includes radios, console upgrades and other equipment.

The new system will help deputies communicate directly with other law enforcement agencies instead of going through 911 operators to do so. The system will also give deputies clear signals in parts of the county that were otherwise spotty.

The VIPER system is managed by the N.C. State Highway Patrol under the N.C. Department of Public Safety and serves all emergency responders, according to state officials.

The county bought the equipment so that the sheriff’s office will be able to communicate on one system at the local, state and federal levels.

It’s a system law enforcement agencies are going toward, officials have said. The Department of Public Safety will handle labor costs, maintenance, service and computer service upgrades once the system is installed with no cost to the county.

The county essentially only had to purchase the equipment. Woodard told commissioners the new system should be ready for use in the next month or two.


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