Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hendry Officials' Afternoon Visit To New Sheriff's Annex

New Pubic Service Communications Center And Sheriff's Substation

LABELLE, FL. -- Tuesday afternoon, dozens of visitors, elected and government officials helped Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden celebrate the opening of the new Sheriff's Substation Annex in Port LaBelle.

(Video: Vistiors and Officials Visit New Annex)

The building purchased from CHL Homes is located on Raintree Boulevard, just south of LaBelle Middle School and about 5 miles east of the Sheriff's main office in the City of LaBelle.

It was due to the generosity of the Port LaBelle Community Development District and the residents of Port LaBelle, whose taxes paid for the building, and allowed installation of new radio equipment for the Sheriff, EMS and Fire Department.

The Development District had originally provided land for a new office to be built near Dellwood Terrace, but when CHL needed to sell their unneeded new office building on Raintree, the county bought it. 

The Sheriff’s Office has occupied the building for the past year and members of the Road Patrol, Investigations, and Crime Scene Divisions have been operating at their full potential at the new location.

Also remaining from the office building sale by CHL is a fully equipped weight and training room for the Sheriff's personnel.

Due to the impending federal mandate to narrowband existing radios or move to the 800 MHz band by January 1, 2013, Sheriff Whidden decided to go with the state law enforcement's 800 MHz system and centralized the Communications Division at the new location.

The new radio system is digital and encrypted so no one can monitor what's being dispatched to deputies or hear what deputies are saying back to dispatch while in their patrol cars or on their mobile radios. The system is very expensive, about $5,000 for each hand held mobile radio used by a deputy. 

The Fire and EMS radios are still using analog VHF frequencies, and not encrypted and still can be heard by the public using a scanning radio.

A dedication plaque was unveiled during the ceremony and tours of the new facility followed along with light refreshments.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:47 PM

    We will see how great the coverage is on this state system for the officers. Problems already, and they are not happy. The Indian Reservation tower isnt loaded yet, not sure when that will be. He (Whidden)is giving authorization to radio frequencies assigned to the County NOT his agency exclusively, (I have yet to see any BOCC board action on the transfer or authorization to use such) and brings on the question instead of doing this RIGHT and making an educated decision he jumps on the first thing that sounds good. Problem is why wasn't all designs considered and vendors, and his analog system WAS narrowband capable. Just needed a reprogramming procedure done and voila! 12.5 khz narrowband. Of course he didnt know nor his wonderful commanders as they are clueless as well. This is going to cost the County taxpayer, when it has to be torn all out and redone the right way, (similar actions have occurred all over with the fright tactic of narrowbanding by 2013) Sad Judy KK and the BOCC still have the way out if they hurry. NOT a good plan and a wasted of money. NOT to mention safety as it is inadequate for public safety APCO P25 Coverage requirements and a imminent danger to every officer on the street. He needs to go.