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State police unveil new Western MA radio system

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RUSSEL, MA (WSHM) -

State police unveiled a new Western MA radio system on Tuesday that will specifically help troopers to communicate while working in the areas rural communities.

The new system is the first fully digital system for the state police

State police superintendent Col. Timothy Alben says up until now communication was spotty in many rural areas of Western Mass which caused problems in times of emergency.

"When you get into these mountainous areas, especially into the valleys there would not be radio coverage," Alben said."A trooper would not be able to communicate back here to the barracks so if he or she got in trouble, if they were injured, if they got into an altercation you can just imagine the scenarios they wouldn't be able to call for help."

But, that's all changing thanks to the new radio system that's been years in the making.

"If we get into a challenging situation anywhere now in Western MA we know we are going to have instantaneous communication back to barracks that can get us necessary help," Alben said.

The system covers all but a few isolated areas throughout the Berkshires and will enable troopers from all across the state to get in touch with one another.

"That communication is now going into a state trunk system so you can talk literally from a valley in the Berkshires to Boston or Framingham," Alben said.

And, for troopers like Christopher Kudlay who cover the Russell area the news of the new system is more than welcome. Kudlay said that up until now he's run into problems pretty much on a daily basis.

"Every time we had to go to a call and had to utilize the old system we'd go to a house go to a domestic and on a daily basis we would get dispatched and not have communications with the barracks until we return to the cruiser," Kudlay said.

The new system cost $42 million in Western Massachusetts and was paid for with state bonds.

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