Motorola Solutions, Inc. has entered into an agreement to upgrade Cooke County, TX communications systems for emergency responders. As the Gainesville Daily Register reported, the company plans to invest $4,480,673 in the project. Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley, noted that the deal also includes two to five years of follow up maintenance for the system.
“Right now, we are adding two additional towers to what is our current setup,” said Brinkley. “The way that fire departments… are currently operating, will still be operating that way going forward with additional coverage.” The new communications towers will support the two currently in use in the county. Emergency personnel will have access to both traditional and newer digital means of communication.
“If they so choose later, the capability will exist and it will enhance their communications probably even more,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Hollowell. “But we’re not strong-arming anybody or taking advantage of anybody nor are we leaving anybody without coverage.”
Plans are to add a 700 MHz trunked system for law enforcement, complete with dual band radios. “For those who have invested in digital equipment, that digital equipment will continue to function,” Hollowell told the Register. Eventually all departments will have access to the 700 MHz system, which will make it easier for different units to coordinate with each other. “If they so choose later, the capability will exist and it will enhance their communications probably even more,” he added.
An upgrade to emergency systems has been in the works since 2018, when the Cooke County Commissioners hired Trott Communications to conduct a study gauging the reach of their communications abilities. Following the company’s recommendations, Brinkley noted that the upgrades should “increase our coverage to over 95 percent of Cooke County on a handheld radio.”
During a December 14, 2020, meeting, the Cooke County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to engage Motorola to move forward with the communications upgrades.