Gibson County Sheriff Reprograms Radios

The Gibson County Sheriff's Office has completed a state mandated update six months ahead of schedule.

Monday afternoon at around noon, the Sheriff's Office started operating their radios using 12.5 kHz efficiency technology - otherwise known as "narrowbanding". This means they were able to narrow their radio frequency width.

The FCC has mandated that all public safety radio systems, as well as many business mobile radio systems, use narrowbanding technology by January 1, 2013. Officials say this is to give more people access to the spectrum. Failure to comply could mean a fine or even a loss of license.

Gibson County Sheriff George Ballard says people listening to the police scanners will likely not notice a difference in the clarity of the radio signal. However, he says it is possible the calls between dispatchers and deputies might be a bit better.

Ballard says he was anxious to have this switch completed months ahead of the mandate, in order to work out any complications.

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