New radio system for local police goes live

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The first two groups of Freeborn County’s emergency responders went live on the county’s new radio system Monday, and more are expected to join as the month continues.

Freeborn County Sheriff Bob Kindler said all medical services staff switched onto the new Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response system, also known as ARMER, during the day Monday, and law enforcement was slated to switch over Monday night after the completion of some training.

County fire departments will switch over as their training is completed as well.

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Kindler said he hopes all entities will be on board by the end of October or possibly into November.

The project has been several years in the making after the Federal Communications Commission mandated that wideband with very high frequency systems be replaced or converted to narrowband VHF systems by 2013.

Its aim is to improve communication both in the county and with other emergency groups throughout the state.

ARMER is a statewide system designed to include all emergency response teams in a county, including the Albert Lea Police Department, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Albert Lea Fire Department and the 16 other fire departments throughout the county.

ARMER is designed to improve interoperability amongst emergency responders throughout the state.