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Posted: August 14, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Radio woes

When we heard that public safety departments in Newton County would be able to intercommunicate digitally with a brand new, state-of-the-art radio system, we were thrilled. The addition of top-notch technology to our top-notch law enforcement, fire and emergency services would add another perk to living in the area.

Little did we know, our paper would be denied access to the time-honored tradition of having a working newsroom scanner to alert us to local emergency situations. But, that wasn't the worst surprise we got.

Throughout the year we've heard stories of broken coverage, equipment malfunctions and delayed repairs. We shudder to think that after all the money spent on this technology that one department even reverted back to the old analog system because the other had so many bugs.

Any minute spent trying to correct communications failures in an emergency situation is a minute too long - especially considering the money spent to "upgrade" the system.

We hope that the cell tower adjustment and the new owners of the technology, Harris Corp., will iron out all of the trouble our public safety personnel have had with the system. These men and women need to worry about saving lives and protecting our residents from harm, not feedback on their radios or dead spots.

Harris Corp. should maintain employees in the county until these worries are completely resolved so this investment will truly be worthwhile for Newton citizens.


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