BEND, OR --The manufacturer involved in the upgrade of Deschutes County's law enforcement radio system says things are stabilizing. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News officers are still experiencing volume issues, garbled messages and some dropped calls, although the system is no longer crashing. Chief Porter tells KBND News engineers with Motorola are in town this week to help troubleshoot problems with their units; although he notes radios made by both Motorola and Harris appear to experience the same volume issues.
The digital transition has been plagued with problems since the switch from analog occurred last summer. But, Sheriff Shane Nelson is optimistic, "We are still having issues. But, I am confident that Harris is committed to fixing those issues and they have been receptive to our concerns." He tells KBND News, "I don’t have any reason to believe that they won’t follow through with their pledge to make sure we have an excellent working radio system."
Chief Porter says engineers and county officials have identified Overturf Butte as the best location for another transmitter site. It’s owned by Bend's water department and already has antenna poles, so it wouldn’t need any immediate infrastructure. But, the county must wait for an emergency radio transmitter license from the FCC, which could take up to 45 days. Porter believes coverage on the west side of Bend, where many problems have occurred, will improve once that site is operational.