TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A few years ago Marana Police officers were dispatched to a bank robbery at the Bank of America on Cortaro Road. It was that day that they realized they needed to make a change.
“We had a pretty legitimate bank robbery here at the Bank of America on Cortaro and it ended up at Ajo and I-19. It ended up into a shoot out and our officers couldn’t get on to the radio because we didn’t have reception,” Sgt. Chriswell Scott of Marana Police notes of the incident.
It was that day that MPD realized they needed to change the communication system they were using.
Now, a few years later and as of just a few weeks ago, Marana Police are on the PCWIN (Pima County Wireless Integrated Network) system.
PCWIN is a regional radio that almost all agencies in Tucson using, 55 public safety agencies in fact, ranging from fire to police to transportation.
“We can just flip a knob, a Tucson PD officer or a Pima County deputy can flip a knob and we’re all on the same frequency,” Sgt. Scott says of PCWIN.
While it’s been around for a few years now, MPD recently made the push to get on it. Even though Sgt. Scott says they’re a little late to the game when it comes to PCWIN, they have their reasons. It wasn’t until this year that their old radio system was up for an upgrade. Dealing with that upgrade and all that comes with it would’ve cost them over $1 million Sgt. Scott says; but switching over to PCWIN cost them around $600,000. So, they decided to make the switch and save that money.
Using PCWIN allows MPD interoperability that Sgt. Scott says well help them to organize more coordinated responses in case of emergency, meaning it could also help to keep you and your loved ones safer.