ALPHARETTA, Ga. – In anticipation of most of the North Fulton cities switching over to their own radio system separate from the county next year, Alpharetta City Council approved buying 137 new handheld radios for public safety employees.
These new radios replace the aging and soon-to-be outdated radios in current use. These radios, due to aging technology, cannot reach everywhere in the county and have frequent problems. In addition, emergency crews need both a handheld device as well as a vehicle-mounted radio for times when they lose signal. The new radios and radio system should solve this.
“It is our desire to be able to get by with portable [devices] only once the radio system is up,” said Alpharetta Public Safety Director Gary George.
This would potentially cut the total amount of radios used by 90 percent, George said, once the new system is installed.
The Public Safety Department currently uses 429 radios in both police and fire brigades.
Federal Communications Commission regulations required the county as well as the northern cities to upgrade their radio net by 2017. For years, the county delayed to the point where Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton chose to go it alone, making their own radio network. Johns Creek decided to go with the county.
In total, the 137 radios will cost the city