Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

October 11, 2012

Despite radio bridge, agencies still having trouble

EFFINGHAM —     Despite the installation of a radio bridge to facilitate communication between separate radio systems, Effingham County sheriff’s deputies are still having trouble talking to police from other agencies.

    That was the message at Tuesday’s Emergency Telephone System (911) board meeting. County dispatch supervisor Tina Daniels told the board her deputies were still having issues, especially when they are out of their squad cars.

    “I’ve talked to several deputies who say the bridge isn’t working the way it’s supposed to,” Daniels said. “They either get traffic intermittently, or not at all.”

    Sheriff’s deputies have been complaining for months that they have not been able to effectively communicate with either Effingham city officers or Illinois State Police. Both the city and ISP use the new STARCOM radio system, while the county still uses an 800 megahertz system that has been in place for many years.

    Officials have been considering a number of options, including the installation of a “bridge” designed to facilitate communication between county deputies and other agencies. The bridge was recently tried out for two weeks, with what officials say were less than stellar results.

    Chief Deputy John Loy, a 911 board member, agreed that communication was still spotty.

    “Part of the time I can hear them,” Loy said. “Other times, I can tell when somebody keys a mic, but I can’t tell who it is.”

    Communications expert Randy Neal, who frequently advises the board on such issues, said the bridge worked fine for him, particularly during the day.

    Loy said most of the problems have been at night.

    “It sounds like you’re down in a barrel, or there’s an echo,” he said.

    While Neal said he could monitor the bridge at night in an effort to tweak the system, one board member doesn’t believe it’s worth the trouble.

    “I think you’re just spinning your wheels trying to put these two systems together,” said Jon Becker.

    Effingham police chief Mike Schutzbach said he has encouraged his officers to switch between STARCOM and the 800 MHz system.

    “Everyone has both 800 and STARCOM,” Schutzbach said. “But when you go to 800, it’s hard to hear the state police.”

    Loy said the bridge could work if it is attached to a STARCOM mobile radio.

    “The simple solution is if we can get a mobile STARCOM radio and reprogram it to see if it works,” he said.

    Neal said he could secure such a radio for a 30-day test. The board directed Neal to initiate the process.

    Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.