A new radio system will be installed later this year that would close police communication gaps in Winona County. The Winona Daily News recently reported that a Winona County Sheriff’s deputy was out of contact with dispatchers for about a half hour recently. He was in a “dead zone” in the county and couldn’t even use a cell phone to communicate. The Sherriff was conducting an investigation on an assault in Altura and Utica.
For years, police have struggled with radio and cell phone dead zones in Winona County. However, a county proposal to join a new 800-megahertz radio system may eliminate this communication gap. This radio system is pricey – $10 million – however, dead zones should vanish with new, more powerful towers. The State Patrol already has switched to the new frequency, and their radio communications are much clearer even in Mankato.
Even though the radio system seems to be costly, isn’t it worth better safety for law enforcement and the residents they protect?