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Jail's Construction Prevents Radio Connectivity

Some are calling the building a "technology nightmare."

Fri March 04, 2016 - West Edition
CEG


Corrections officers at a Washington jail are stuck using old radio equipment because the building's construction limits which frequencies they can access.
Corrections officers at a Washington jail are stuck using old radio equipment because the building's construction limits which frequencies they can access.

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Corrections officers at a Washington jail are stuck using old radio equipment because the building's construction limits which frequencies they can access.

The News Tribune reports ( http://bit.ly/1RjVPGS ) that Pierce County recently bought 162 new Motorola radios for jail staff as part of a new radio system meant to unify communication among South Sound agencies.

But inside the county jail, the new radios can't connect to the 700MHz system that came online in 2014. They also can't pick up the existing single-band signal.

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management director Lowell Porter called the building a “technology nightmare,” explaining that the jail's bullet-proof glass, concrete walls and steel materials seem to prevent a reliable connection.

Porter says his staff will use their older radios until technology workers can find a solution.