Florida rolls out law enforcement radio system

A statewide digital radio system, built by M/A-Com Inc., that will let Florida law enforcement agencies communicate seamlessly is now fully operational, Republican Gov. Jeb Bush said.

The Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System will allow officials from 17 state agencies and all 67 counties to communicate throughout 59,000 square miles of Florida and up to 25 miles offshore, the state announced.

The central radio system will eliminate the need for state and law enforcement officials to switch equipment to communicate as they travel throughout the state, state officials said. It is intended for use in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

The 800 MHz radio system will cover 98 percent of the state with mobile coverage. Local and federal public safety agencies in Florida also will have the opportunity to join the radio system as third-party subscribers, the state said.

The radio system proved effective during recent hurricanes, said Fred Dickinson, executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. M/A-Com built the radio system for $292 million, according to published reports.

M/A-Com of Lowell, Mass., is a unit of Tyco Electronics Corp., which is one of five business segments of Tyco International Ltd., Princeton, N.J. The parent company has more than 250,000 employees and had annual sales of about $40 billion in fiscal 2005.

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