211 New Radios Will Save State Money and
Create More Efficient Communications System
Frankfort, KY – Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence announced today the complete installation of 211 new radios for Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement (KVE) officers. The Motorola ASTRO Project 25 UHF radios replace a fifty-year old communication system that didn’t work in some parts of the state.
"Lack of coverage and increased maintenance issues were major problems with our old system," said Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety. "Updating KVE communication systems was not only a matter efficiency; it was a matter of officer and public safety."
Prior to the installation of the new technology, KVE officers frequently had difficulty communicating on the old radios, even when officers were within close range. The antiquated system also lacked the power to penetrate geographic barriers, especially in the mountainous regions of Eastern Kentucky. Officers used cell phones to communicate with each other, adding to operational expenses.
“Our officers won’t have to rely on expensive cell phones any more to do their jobs,” said KVE Commissioner Greg Howard. “Whether we are tracking a truck load of stolen explosives, searching a semi full of drugs or just doing paperwork on a simple speeding ticket – these radios will make our jobs easier. And perhaps the best part, for the first time ever KVE officers will be able to communicate directly with KSP troopers. Amazingly, that had never been possible before now.”
KVE spent nearly $130,000 a year maintaining the old communication system, with approximately $40,000 going toward payment of officer cell phone bills.
The Kentucky State Police (KSP) assisted KVE with the new radio installations. In July 2002, KSP implemented the use of the same Motorola two-way radio system.
“KSP and KVE have partnered on many projects since KVE joined the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. We have trained together, worked details together, and share information on a regular basis. The KVE Radio Installation Project is another example of our working together for the benefit of both agencies,” said Kentucky State Police Commissioner Mark L. Miller. “Through the efficient coordination by KSP Communications and Supply branches, the KVE installations were completed on a regional basis to reduce unnecessary travel time while ensuring no KSP needs went unmet as well,” praised Miller.
During Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent visit to Louisville, the new communication was used, as KVE and KSP officers worked with federal agents to provide the security detail.
The new KVE radio system cost approximately $2 million, but is expected to reduce officers use of cell phones, create greater financial independence for the department and enhance operational efficiency. Asset forfeiture monies, various grants and cost savings measures will cover initial system implementation expenditures.
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