Washington State Patrol getting new radio system - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington State Patrol getting new radio system

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The Washington State Patrol is making a major change to their radio system and troopers in Yakima are the first to get it.

They're switching to digital radio because of an FCC requirement designed to free up radio bandwidth. It would have originally cost them 53 million dollars but a partnership with federal agencies shaved 12 million off that price tag. Troopers near Yakima were working today to get the equipment fully up and running.

"This is the life line for the state patrol, to our troopers where they have to have communication so we want to make sure it's working properly," says State Patrol Sgt. Greg Tri.

Troopers are testing their reception in farther away places like White Pass. They say once the Yakima system is fully up and running they'll start activating systems across the state.