EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Law enforcement officers rely on radio systems to communicate with each other, and in order to improve the line of communication, Eau Claire city and county officers are upgrading.
The city said the Eau Claire Police and Eau Claire County Sheriff's Departments have switched to a new radio system online. Other emergency service providers will also switch to the digital narrow band system by next Thursday.
The new system would open up frequencies between the numbers, just as it does for digital television. It can also be used for mutual aid between counties so that several agencies can jump on the same frequency and hear one another.
It's an FCC mandated switch, which Sheriff Ron Cramer said will improve communication lines between officers. New equipment has been installed in squad cars.
“We’re all on the midst of this new change and we have to keep up with the technology. Technology is ever-changing out there and for us being able to communicate is lifesaving in many aspects,” said Cramer.
The city says the project took well over a year to plan and it's the first time in the history of Eau Claire that all public radio service users upgraded systems at the same time.
He said the upgrade and additional towers cost around $3 million.