Public Safety Radio Coverage
Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury
PUBLIC SAFETY RADIO COVERAGE: Is Our Safety at Risk?
Reliable radio reception for public safety agencies has been problematic in select areas of Santa Barbara County. The 2016-17 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury spoke with many law enforcement officers who recounted situations in which their work was hampered by poor reception, or no reception. Their safety and the public’s safety are at risk. Santa Barbara County is in the process of putting up towers to increase coverage and eliminate dead spots in radio reception. The Jury recommends this process be expedited.
With its investment in the future of public safety technology, Santa Maria is reaching out to other areas on the Central Coast to join their 700 MHz system. Given the power and efficiency of this system, all Santa Barbara County public safety departments should adopt the 700 MHz system to advance public safety communications for the future.
The mandate of the Grand Jury is to shine a light on governmental operations within Santa Barbara County. The form and timeframe of the agencies’ responses are required by California Penal Code §933 and §933.05. All Grand Jury reports and responses are posted on the Jury’s website (www.sbcgj.org).
The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury is a basic part of government within the judicial branch. The Grand Jury acts independently, yet is under the general control of the Superior Court Presiding Judge to assure that it acts in accordance.