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New emergency communication system launched today with no serious problems

It may not have gone off without a hitch -- some users had a learning curve -- but the new emergency communication system in Genesee County is fully functional.

There were rumors of technical problems with the new system, including problems with the Pavilion tower, but trusted sources along with Sheriff Gary Maha said the Harris system has performed as it should since the switch over shortly after 7 a.m.

The $10.8 million system -- paid for largely with federal grants and a local bond -- is technically identical to the communication system all police and fire units across the United States are converting to, which will help improve inter-agency communications in regional and national emergencies.

"We've been using the system all day and handled a number of calls -- accidents, shoplifters, calls for service -- and so far so good," Maha said. "It's gone as smooth as could be expected."

Owners of the new Uniden P-25-compatiable scanners locally are reporting spotty success in picking up fire and police transmission. The scanners do work, but reception is not always reliable.

Here at The Batavian, we don't have our new scanner fully programmed yet, so can't report on how it's working out for us.

The Sheriff's Office also switched to a new digital phone system. That transition didn't go as smoothly, Maha admitted, but the phones appear to be working properly now.

dennis wight
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What model radio did you get, Howard?

tom hunt
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I can throw my Bear Cat scanner into the trash now.

Brian Schollard
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Howard or Billie, How or who programed your new scanner? Did you use the Sentinel Software program?

dennis wight
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APCO 25 Phase II ?? is this the system being used?

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