New Pinal County Sheriff's Radios Take Off

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 4:48pm
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 5:38pm
(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb

Pinal County sheriff’s helicopters are taking to the skies with new radios officials say will improve communication in the county and the region.

“We work daily with Border Patrol, with Homeland Security investigations, constantly fighting drug trafficking, you know, human trafficking,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. “This is a huge thing for us to be able to communicate better and eliminate a lot of that delay we were having.”

Lamb said before, his deputies took handheld radios anytime they had to fly the agency’s three helicopters. That meant communication delays, particularly in mountainous areas.

“These aircraft will be the eyes and the ears for the guys on the ground in a lot of situations, whether it be a search and rescue, a pursuit, (or) border issues,” Lamb said.

Pinal County is Arizona’s third most populated and includes Oracle, parts of the Tohono O’odham Nation and San Tan Valley.

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Aerospace communications company Cobham, of Prescott, manufactures the radios. The sheriff's office paid for the three $70,000 RT-7000 radios with a combination of federal and local grants.

Lamb said the radios will last longer because software replacement will increase their lifespan.

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