SWAT Situation Another Reminder Of Officer Communication Breakdo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

SWAT Situation Another Reminder Of Officer Communication Breakdown

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If there's been one thing concerning most of our local law enforcement in the Tri-Cities, it's a breakdown of communication. It happened again this weekend during a SWAT situation when Franklin County deputies couldn't communicate with police officers. If there's been one thing concerning most of our local law enforcement in the Tri-Cities, it's a breakdown of communication. It happened again this weekend during a SWAT situation when Franklin County deputies couldn't communicate with police officers.
NBCRightNow.com - If there's been one thing concerning most of our local law enforcement in the Tri-Cities, it's a breakdown of communication. It happened again this weekend during a SWAT situation when Franklin County deputies couldn't communicate with police officers.

After NBC Right Now has spoken with a number law enforcement officials it's clear everyone just wants to be able to properly communicate. After about 8 years of dealing with a radio frequency issue we're told this weekend was just another reminder of how important an upgrade to radio frequencies really is.

"I absolutely believe it's imperative that law enforcement is able to talk with each other," said Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond.

When a domestic disturbance was reported in West Pasco Sunday night that communication wasn't quite clear. Deputies holding a perimeter couldn't talk to officers addressing a likely armed man.

"The people that are actually doing the operations and the SWAT team the other night, they're working on 800. The perimeter was working on VHF radio so there's a communication breakdown there with the officers."

It's nothing new. It's something Raymond has noticed in his time with the Pasco Police Department. Now that he's serving as Sheriff he's already thinking about how to address it.

"We're definitely concerned with the safety of the officers when they respond to these critical type incidents but we're also concerned about the citizens and the response that they get from us when they call for assistance," said Jack Simington from the Fraternal Order of Police.

A deadly interaction this past spring in a Pasco neighborhood had bullets whizzing over officers as a SWAT situation unfolded. The lack of communication nearly put one officer in harm's way.

"If we can't communicate amongst the agencies that are responding then that really puts us at a disadvantage and it puts the bad guy as a real advantage," explained Simington.

At this point the expensive project to get all the radio frequencies to communicate is held up by lack of funding. Federal or state grants could be the way to go and Raymond says that 's likely the next step.

"I'm going to try hard to concentrate on the safety of the deputies and work at what we can do to resolve those communications and that's really my primary focus," said Raymond.

A project of this size will have to involve multiple counties and cities in our area. Sheriff Raymond explained dual-banding radios that can switch from one frequency to the other could serve best in the future to connect our law enforcement when it matters.

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