OFELIA GARCIA HUNTER

Norbert Everett, a dispatcher at the Alice Police Department, works on the new dispatch console that was installed Wednesday to better serve and respond to the residents of the Alice community during emergency situations.

Police say changes will benefit officers on the street

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice Police Department's communication center has expanded to add another dispatch console with five frequencies to better serve the community, police officials said.

"The service will be a lot quicker and be able to get citizens what they need a lot quicker," said David Valadez with the police department. "It will help when we have multiple incidents going on at the same time, like police and fire."

The new dispatch computerized console was purchased through a Homeland Security grant. The 2006 grant totaled $85,152.16 with $35,404.69 being used to upgrade the communication dispatch center. In addition to the dispatch console, the police communication center added repeater frequencies for the fire station and portable radios for patrol officers, Valadez said. The grant was made possible through the Governor Division of Emergency Management. In 2004, the police department received $27,367 in grant money and on 2005, they received $26,695.

"We've been pretty successful in acquiring radio equipment," Valadez said.

The new communication console will also allow other agencies that come into the area to communicate with police and patch frequencies together to allow two channels to fuse and communicate with them, Valadez said.

"We have been working on this (project) throughout 2007 in implementing the design," Valadez said.

Valadez said the communication center would grow in 2008.

"We will be expanding another work station in 2008," he said.