Currently, mobile radios used in Floyd County are compatible with the systems in neighboring counties except Polk, Hancock added.
Polk County Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Lacey said there have been a few car chases near U.S. 27 that began in Floyd and ended in Polk County. While officers on the Floyd County system could still get reception, they could not talk directly to officers from Polk County if they needed backup.
Floyd County has a 10-tower, 800 megahertz trunked digital system. Polk County has a less powerful two-tower, 400 megahertz system.
Lacey said the two towers — preexisting structures in Rockmart and Cedartown — can cover the county since it is smaller and has flatter terrain than Floyd County.
Floyd County had to build 10 towers from the ground up for its more complex radio system, Hancock said.
Lacey is familiar with both counties’ new radio systems. He was on the committee that worked to bring the new digital system to Floyd County while serving as public safety director in Cave Spring. Since taking his new job in August 2011, a $600,000, two-tower system has been implemented in Polk County.
“My association with that system (in Floyd County) helped me a lot with understanding the system here,” Lacey said.
Lacey said Polk County’s switch to the new system has gone smoothly so far, even if the new radios are more complicated than the analog units that had been standard for years.
“There’s a lot to know, because it’s like every radio is a computer,” he said.
Like Floyd County, Polk had issues with dead spots in some rural areas when it was using an analog system. So far, that problem has been eliminated by the switch to digital.
“Everyone is well-pleased with our system, especially the Polk County police, since they sometimes work out in rural areas,” Lacey said.