Providing Monroe County with the Most Reliable, Sophisticated State-of-the-Art Communication System Available.
Public Safety Communications is responsible for the planning, operation, and maintenance of radio and microwave communication systems used by all Monroe County departments, the City of Rochester, all municipal law enforcement agencies and some fire protection and emergency medical services of the County. The facility is located in the City of Rochester at the top of Cobbs Hill.
Public Safety Communications is dedicated to providing the highest quality of professional service and support for governmental users of communication systems. They provide installations, repairs, licensing, planning, system design and 24-hour emergency service of the radio systems employed by all police agencies, the 9-1-1 Center, fire and emergency medical services and other governmental agencies throughout Monroe County. Technicians respond to calls for service to mobile radios, transmitters, receivers, 911 radio dispatch consoles and microwave links.
Public Safety Communications services more than 700 police mobile radios and more than 1,800 police portable radios and operate a county wide paging system. The staff is also responsible for the maintenance of 63 remote communication sites at locations such as the Greater Rochester International Airport Communications Center, the Monroe County Emergency Operations Center and all city and county Parks.
A number of critical public safety communications projects are either under way or under review. Some confusion has resulted when referring to the various projects. This fact sheet is designed to identify the different projects, briefly define the issues associated with each, and summarize the status of the project. This fact sheet is not meant to be an exhaustive or detailed description of each project or a policy statement about the direction any project will take.
As part of this effort, there are a number of definitions at the end of the fact sheet to assist in understanding the terminology utilized throughout this section.
There are four (4) key public safety communications projects to describe.
- 900 MHz Digital Paging System [also known as, Digital Paging]
The 900 MHz digital paging system will replace the current 450 MHz digital paging system that is obsolete. Equipment for the system is no longer available and maintenance is very costly. The system is a communications necessity for public safety officials and other municipal officials. The new two-way is being tested. The user device, 1501 Responder pager, is available and can be ordered by contacting Radio Center at 428-5146. The current and latest version of the Firmware is Version 1.20 Build 18.
- Law Enforcement Voice System - The UHF law enforcement voice communications system [Ultra High Frequency band ranges from 460.000-470.000 MHz] was replaced on January 10, 2010 with a digital, FCC compliant, “narrow band” system to create additional frequencies for public safety agencies.
- Public Safety Data System [also known as, MDT System, vehicle laptops]
MACRO completed a second study of the public safety data system and recommended a replacement. This system has reached its life cycle and is part of the Public Safety Integrated Management System replacement. This system supports MDT’s and laptop computers in the cars as well as station house MDT units.
- Fire/EMS Narrow-Band Project [also know as Refarming Project]
The current radio system used by the fire and emergency medical services uses radio frequencies in the VHF band [Very High Frequency ranges from 138.000-174.000 MHz]. Most frequencies used in Monroe County are in the 153-155 MHz range. Like the UHF frequencies, FCC is requiring them to be “narrow-banded”. This change means moving to a 12.5 MHz split between the next closest frequency. Many current radios used by the services (both mobile and portable) are not manufactured to the new 12.5 “narrow-band” standard and therefore will not accept the new frequencies.
Special operational frequencies are available for mobile and portable use. Agencies must obtain a FCC license to operate on a base station.