Boyle deputies still can’t hear Danville police on their radios

Published 6:59 am Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Sheriff Derek Robbins told the Boyle County Fiscal Court he’s not certain why the sheriff’s office can’t get on the same radio frequency as the Danville Police Department.

Robbins was asked about the issue Thursday during the fiscal court’s regular meeting by Magistrate Jack Hendricks.

“I was told a couple of days ago and I’m curious if it’s correct …” Hendricks said. “The new radios we purchased because Danville went to the new radio system — have we not get them programmed into our radios, and are you not on the Danville station yet?”

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Robbins said that’s correct — the sheriff’s office is not on the same frequency.

“Is there a reason we’re not?” Hendricks asked.

“The explanation I got was they’re working out the kinks and they will make it available once that was done. Can’t answer to the reasoning,” Robbins said. “But they’ve been utilizing it for a while now.”

Hendricks said it was his understanding that, “the whole reason we authorized these new radios was so that the sheriff’s office can communicate with the police. We need to find out why they don’t want to share that channel with us. That’s why we’re paying about a third of the cost of the 911 center …”

Robbins said he would try to set up a meeting to find out what the timeframe is and the reasoning behind the delay.

“Let’s get the deadline in writing this time,” Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said. “When we’re going to be able to share the frequency — that’s Danville’s call, though, right?”

Robbins said the PD can monitor the sheriff’s calls, but “we can’t hear them. It’s created some issues.”

“That’s why we spent almost $25,000 to get the new radios,” Hendricks said.

Monday, Chief Tony Gray said there have been some technical issues that have come into play after the 911 center moved into the basement of city hall.

“We were going to go to it when dispatch moved, but we weren’t able to do it exactly at that time. We had some issues with dispatch switching, just some telephone issues that were beyond our control,” Gray said. He said the police department went back to its old frequency just last week while further glitches were being solved by IT. He said there are two repeaters in the new system, and they are trying to “find a point where they’ll go up to each other and not overlap. It’s technical and complicated.”

Gray said after this fine tuning is complete, there should be no issues with the two agencies being on the same frequency. “We’ve spotted a few more issues, there’s some equipment things we’re trying to get settled,” including a repeater that went down, which they are waiting on being replaced.

“There’s no ‘shut-out’ or anything, they’re free to call Southern Communications and talk to them about it, we both (agencies) use the same people. I want to make sure we’re where we need to be and that the system is up and running 100 percent. It’s just not happened in the timely manner we thought it would.”

In other business

• Sheriff Robbins received permission to purchase two 2019 Dodge Chargers, priced at $49,722, through Freedom Dodge, then fit with emergency equipment for $17,898. The vehicles are all-wheel drive.

“We’d had some trouble getting up driveways in the past, in some areas that were gravel and washed out, for example,” Robbins told the court.

The full amount approved was $67,620, which was $8,300 less than what was budgeted.