A recent grant from Gov. Kay Ivey will allow the Troy University Police Department to complete an extensive update to its communications radio system, according to Chief John McCall.
McCall said the university is at the forefront of creating a Project 25 (P25) radio system that could eventually connect the entire state of Alabama.
“The P25 system is a really cool system to work on,” McCall said. “It would allow us to communicate with the other Alabama sites on the same radios we use in Troy by just switching to their frequency.
“For example, say I am in Montgomery one day and — God-forbid — there is a shooting on the Troy campus, I can hop on my radio and stay tuned to the updates as I drive back to the campus.”
According to McCall, multiple partnerships with other communities have allowed the university police to update their system “without spending a dime” from the university police’s budget.
Because Troy University already had radio towers in Troy, Phenix City, Dothan and Ariton, McCall said he was able to trade resources with the cities of Dothan and Ozark to help create the first regional P25 radio system in the state and possibly the country.
“The grant from Gov. Ivey (which totaled over $70,500) will allow us to purchase 30 handheld radios and nine car radios that will all work on the system,” McCall said.
According to McCall, these radios are far more advanced than the outdated system the university has been working on, with capabilities to have private conversations between two radios, GPS location capabilities and an emergency button that can be pressed to call for backup.
“We are going to keep going after grants because we want to see this expand,” he said. “It will benefit the Wiregrass area with Troy being able to communicate with other large cities.”
According to a Feb. 28 press release, the system will be available to the city of Troy and Troy University as well as law enforcement agencies in Pike and Dale counties.
“New technology is helping to improve the coordination and response of emergency services and saving lives,” Ivey said in the press release. “I am pleased to help with this radio system, which has the ability to vastly improve communications for and among numerous law enforcement and public service agencies.”
P25 is focusing on having every state on the system by the year 2025 to enable better communication during disasters.