News12 / Tuesday November 19, 2013
McDuffie County, Ga (WRDW)----"McDuffie county 911 where is your emergency," asked Antrone Brewer.
Brewer's work day is filled with calls. Before upgrading to a digital system some were hard to understand.
"You are able to hear your officers better and also your EMS units, if they are in Augusta at MCG Hospital or University Hospital," Brewer told News12.
The static free communication and wide coverage area is what brought some of Colombia South America's top cops to learn more about it.
"Our goal is to better our communication department. What we've seen so far is excellent," said Jorge Duarte of the Colombian National Police.
Tracy Neal runs the department and told Officer Durate and his men why this digital communication system has helped them with more than just clear audio.
"There's not a scanner that's manufactured and capable of decoding that signal, so it's secure," said Neal.
Ten years ago Colombia had one of the highest kidnapping , murder, and drug trafficking rates in the world. Staying a step ahead of criminals through technology has reduced all those categories dramatically and the country hopes to eliminate more of it with what they learn today.
"When the community needs the police we want to get there quick. We don't want to be late," said Officer Duarte.
The sheriff's office can also track how fast their cars are driven and when deputies respond to calls. Something Neal says improves everyone's safety.
"If they are close to a call that we receive and it's a higher priority call we are able to dispatch the closet unit to the call," he said.
The group is now headed for more training in Kentucky, but look forward to applying what they've learned.
"I am grateful for everything I've seen," Officer Duarte told News12.
The Policia National de Colombia will now check out a different communication system at a sheriff's office in Kentucky. They say the decision will happen after they meet with generals in Colombia, and hope to have everything in place within a year.