The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office recently started using a new link system with its communication radios.
Sgt. Jerry Brewer with the sheriff's office said he developed the link system over the last year with Sea Coast Communications, a company from Wilmington.
Brewer said the new system allows radios of different frequencies to communicate with each other.
He said the sheriff's office currently utilizes radios of a 400 megahertz (MHz) frequency and radios of an 800 MHz frequency.
The issue was that the two sets of radios could not be used together. Deputies working in the New Hanover County Courthouse could not communicate with the dispatchers located across town in the county government center.
Brewer said the agency would have needed to spend well over $300,000 to replace the 400 MHz radios with new 800 MHz radios.
New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon hoped the dilemma could be solved without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It was a safety and security need, so it was a priority," McMahon said. "It was going to be over $300,000 to do it so I asked our deputies in our agency, is there a way we can do it better? Cheaper?"
The answer to the sheriff's question was, yes.
Thanks to the link system, the 400 MHz radios can now successfully communicate with the 800 MHz radios.
"Now we can connect with 800 MHz radios. We can talk to other officers. We can talk to dispatch," McMahon said.
Brewer said the link system has been working for close to two weeks now.
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