WA Police upgrading digital radio network

Move from analogue to full digital communications throughout the state will improve police safety and cut costs

Western Australia Police will rip and replace its regional analogue radio system and move to digital as a means of providing secure and robust communications for front-line officers across the whole state.

The upgrade is part of a regional radio network replacement program, which began in mid-2009, and aimed at delivering a reliable, secure and supported digital voice network throughout regional WA.

WA Police currently has a digital trunked radio communications system in metropolitan and some regional areas via an implementation in January 2007.

The rip and replace project is effectively made up of four projects, including a replacement of the existing Regional Radio Network (RRN), and extending the 2007 upgrade to regional areas such as Geraldton, Albany, Kalgoorlie and Pilbara.

Digital terminal equipment will also replace current ageing analogue radio terminal equipment at regional police facilities and some 1200 police vehicles. Radio tower sites will also be upgraded to make them compliant, secure and ready for network implementation.

According to WA Police documents, the agency services one of the largest single police jurisdictions in the world with an area covering 2.5 million square kilometres and a population of over 2.1 million.

Accordingly, an upgraded communications network was essential for service delivery and officer safety, particularly in remote regional areas where back-up can be distant, and to deliver cost savings.

“WA Police strategy is to increasingly standardise policing service delivery throughout the state, in remote and in populated areas,” WA Police documents on the project read. “The present RRN constrains this.

“The new RRN will result in significant improvement in regional service delivery and capability to extend patrols to areas where coverage is currently intermittent or inadequate due to coverage, performance or equipment issues.”

The new radio network will also be integrated with other Police systems in use at the Police Communications Centre and at the Radio and Electronic Support Unit.

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