Danville, VA - When Chatham Police Chief Marvin Wright is out on the street, he depends on his communication with dispatch.
Now, Wright says that communication is the best it's ever been.
"When you're out on emergency calls, it's just so good to be able to say it one time, and they be able to hear you and you hear them, " Wright said.Wright says his staff often experienced so much static, they had to use their cell phones to make a clear call to dispatch.
Officials say they knew they had a problem about seven years ago.
"We initially started having interference with other radio providers as far away as Richmond, " said Emergency Coordinator James Davis.
After years of building a new infrastructure, the new system is finally ready for all law enforcement agencies in the county to use, including the Sheriff's office.
Later this week, Davis plans to make the service live for all EMS and firefighters as well. He hopes the multi-million dollar upgrades will make their commitment to public safety crystal clear.
"That is the difference in night and day to the people out there that we serve, " Davis said.
"It saves time. It's probably going to save lives. It's just great to have the new system in place, " said Wright.
The upgrades also bring the system up to date with federal regulations to prevent frequency overcrowding.
Officials say there have been no issues reported with the new system since it went live, but they are keeping the old one running temporarily as a backup.