Beginning September 1st, the Grove Police Department's dispatch office will switch to a new 800 radio system.
“Citizens who like to monitor our activities should be aware that they will need 800 Trunking scanners to listen to our new system,” said Grove Police Chief Mark Morris.
Morris said that, in addition to regular channels that the public will be able to monitor, there will also be encrypted channels that will not be accessible to regular citizens.
“Those channels are for sensitive operations that might create a hazard if the public heard them,” Morris said.
He noted that the Grove Fire Department will also be switching over to the new system.
“This system encompasses the whole state and enables us to network with other parts of the nation as well,” Morris said.
Grove dispatch handles all of the 911 calls in the Southern part of Delaware County, an average of 300 calls per month.
Morris said people calling 911 should understand that the dispatchers are not delaying sending help just to ask them questions.
“Help is normally sent out immediately when someone calls,” Morris said. “When someone is under stress, they may think it takes a long time to answer all the questions, when it actually just takes a few moments. The important thing is that they understand that there is already help on the way.”
He also said that the public should be aware that the 911 number is strictly for emergencies. Callers who want address directions, or are experiencing power outages, etc. should not call 911.
“The lines need to remain open for people who need them,” Morris said. “If somebody calls 911 on a non-emergency, they could be taking away resources from someone who truly has an emergency.”