BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Benton County emergency services can now connect with first responders more easily.
It switched to a new digital radio system. The Arkansas Wireless Information Network, or AWIN, has been installed at police and fire departments around the county.
The new system allows for easier communication with other state agencies who are already on the network.
Benton County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Shannon Jenkins says it will help them cover more rural areas. “Deputies would try to get on their cell phones but couldn’t get on their cell phones. That’s a huge security risk. Not only for the deputy, but if there’s an emergency, let’s say a car accident or a vehicle accident or someone is missing and we can’t communicate with that, that’s a big problem,” Jenkins said.
The AWIN system includes GPS and distress signals in each handheld radio, something Lieutenant Jenkins says will help keep their deputies safe.