Spotsylvania County is reaping the benefits of its state-of-the-art public safety communications system, helping this once-sleepy community handle the challenges that come with rapid growth and expansion. Situated directly between the nation’s capital and Richmond, the state’s capital, Spotsylvania County is not only one of the fastest growing counties in Virginia, but is also one of the fastest growing counties in America.

Improved interoperability for the county’s radio system has fire, police and emergency response agencies feeling safer.

“With everything going on in our nation today, it was really important to our team to make sure that we had all of our entities—whether it be the schools, utilities, or parks and recreation—in coordination with our public safety folks,” said Jane Reeve, Director of Information Services. 

Making the transition to a new digital system

In making the transition from an outdated analog system to a new Project-25 (P25) system from Harris Corporation, Spotsylvania County first added several towers to enable users to talk on multiple bands, not just multiple frequencies. The county now hosts 10 tower sites, providing full countywide coverage for the 2,500 radios on the system. All the county’s agencies seamlessly communicate with each other via voice and text. 

“This is the smoothest transition for a major technology upgrade that I have seen,” said Mark Cole, Deputy County Administrator.  

A better, safer community

The Harris system is seamlessly interoperable within and outside of the network, and puts more capabilities in the hands of first responders. 

Patrol Watch Commander, Lt. Eddie Peck said, “This P25 system gives us all the ability to communicate both in disaster and non-disaster situations by allowing us to tie everything together.” 

The new state-of-the-art digital network does far more than keep the county’s agencies in contact; it provides end users with an added sense of safety and the assurance of being able to handle the toughest challenges that may face the community. 

“At any time if we have a crisis, we are prepared for communications better than we’ve ever been before,” added Reeve.

Sheriff Roger Harris expressed his appreciation for the county’s new communications technology. “I feel like when my guys are on the road now, they’re so much safer. Harris Corporation has certainly done Spotsylvania County right.”