• September 15, 2014

Coryell to discuss public safety

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Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:00 pm | Updated: 4:53 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Jon Schroeder

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE – At a workshop planned for 9 a.m. Wednesday in the commissioners courtroom in Gatesville, Coryell County officials will try to solve some public safety issues.

The first problem is the lack of interoperability between the communications systems used by Coryell County and Copperas Cove police – Coryell uses older, VHF systems, while Cove uses newer 800-megahertz systems.

That means that when Coryell County officers are south of Farm-to-Market Road 580 they cannot communicate directly with nearby Cove officers without using a telephone to call the other jurisdiction's dispatcher.

"The big challenge we have right now is everything above (FM) 580 is VHF radio," Coryell County Judge John Firth said Thursday. "If a sheriff's deputy is in Copperas Cove and comes upon a crime, he can't communicate with Cove officers."

One potential solution, Firth said, would be to equip some Coryell County vehicles with 800 Mhz radios. Then, they would be able to communicate directly with nearby Cove officers.

But other solutions might also be available.

Firth said Fort Hood communications experts will attend Wednesday's meeting to discuss the new Fort Hood Radio Trucking System – a system which allows for more flexibility than a fixed-frequency setup – and four new Fort Hood towers which Firth said he hopes can solve some of the short-term communications problems by serving as "repeaters" which would convert between the two transmissions, allowing for communication.

The second issue which will be discussed in the meeting is the current use of two Public Safety Answering Points in Coryell County. Those two systems, used for phone call-ins, are somewhat redundant, Firth said. At the meeting, a centralized location will be discussed.

Representatives from both Copperas Cove and Gatesville were present at the last commissioners court meeting, and both have been asked to come to Wednesday's meeting as well.

While the workshop was approved at the last commissioners court meeting, a date for the meeting was not set until a few days later.

Contact Jon Schroeder at jons@kdhnews.com or call (254) 547-0428

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