two Way Radio vendors hope Lake County officials can hear them

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The latest in public safety communications radios were on display Tuesday to municipal and Lake County officials preparing to buy millions of dollars in new hardware.

Miner Electronics, of Munster; Tri-Electronics, of Hammond; EF Johnson, of Irving, Texas; Harris Corp., of Lynchburg, Va.; and Motorola Solutions, of Schaumburg, Ill., were among the communications companies taking part in a demonstration at the Slovak Club. On display were the next generation of portable and mobile two Way Radios first responders soon will be sporting.

The state has mandated the county consolidate the 17 city, town and county police, fire and emergency medical dispatch centers into a single countywide network by the end of this year.

They must be compatible with Motorola's interoperable 700 megahertz P25 Trunked Voice radio infrastructure the county recently purchased, making almost all current radios obsolete.

Jack Allendorf, the county's deputy E-911 director, said Tuesday the demonstration is to help city and town officials decide which radios their police officers, firefighters and EMS workers will need in the field.

The new radios are supposed to provide clear voice signals by canceling out surrounding noise at crime, fire and accident scenes. Their signals are supposed to penetrate masonry and metal buildings better than current models.

Motorola presenters said the portable radio is designed to provide the same clear audio for police officers chasing a suspect on open streets as for firefighters deep inside a burning building.

The county could need as many as 4,000 new communications units.

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