Website Upgrade-March 7, 2015
This afternoon, we completed a fairly significant upgrade to the website's content management software. It appears most of the upgrade went just fine, however, there is one minor issue would like to make everyone aware of. It appears the menu module blocks now automatically collapse once a visitor leaves the site. So, the each time you return, you will need to un-collapse whichever module blocks you want to view. For example, if you wanted to view the Kansas City, MO MARRS P25 page, you will now need to hit the plus button (+) in order to view the "MARRS Regional P25" menu block (as illustrated below):
Not a huge deal, but it's something we needed to point out. If we happen to find a fix (which appears unlikely at this point), we'll let everyone know.
P25 Digital Upgrades
Updated December 10, 2014
Nearly all public safety agencies in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area have completely transitioned from their legacy analog radio systems, and are now fully upgraded to APCO P25 digital . Other departments across Kansas and Missouri will be switching to digital in the very near future.
In 2005-2006, government officials on both sides of the State Line were prompted to upgrade their older analog radios to newer APCO P25 digital technology due to aging equipment and lack of interoperability. This region-wide transition initiative began with Independence, MO back in 2006, and ended in late 2014 with most Clay County, MO agencies being fully switched to P25. There are still a few agencies in Clay and Jackson counties who haven't upgraded, but that should be changing soon. According to this article and the five-year strategic plan issued by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Kansas City, MO, Independence, and Johnson County, KS are the primary "hosts" (or master sites) for a region-wide, fully interoperable P25 digital radio network known as the Metropolitan Area Regional Radio System (MARRS). MARRS includes agencies such as Kansas City, MO Police and Fire, Kansas City, KS Police and Fire, Clay County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Gladstone Police and Fire, Liberty Police and Fire, Independence Police and Fire, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, Platte County Sheriff's Office, Raytown Police and EMS, Raytown Fire Protection District, North Kansas City Police and Fire, Claycomo Police and Fire, Pleasant Valley Police and Fire, Blue Springs Police Department, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, Riverside Police and Fire, and all Johnson County Police and Fire agencies. As time goes on, other agencies (such as Grandview Police and Fire, Kearney Police and Fire, and Mosby PD) will ditch their older analog radios and hop on board with the newer digital technology.
Here's what we've heard (or know) about the future, ongoing, and past radio system projects:
Clay County, MO
- The following Clay County agencies use the Kansas City, MO MARRS P25 Site (#401) for dispatch and primary operations: Clay County Sheriff's Office, Claycomo Police and Fire, Gladstone Police and Fire, Liberty Police and Fire, North Kansas City Police and Fire, and Pleasant Valley Police and Fire. Clay County Sheriff's Office continues to maintain their VHF repeaters ("Private 1" 155.700 and "Private 2" 159.825) for backup and other uses. Kearney and Mosby PD are both dispatched on the "Private 2" repeater. According to one of our contacts in that area, Kearney and Mosby will likely be switching over to digital very soon. Excelsior Springs will probably continue to use their VHF conventional frequencies indefinitely.
Jackson County, MO
The following Jackson County agencies use the Kansas City, MO MARRS P25 Site (#401) for dispatch and primary operations: Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Park Rangers, Buckner Police, Grain Valley Police, Greenwood Police, Lake Lotawana Police, Lake Tapawingo Police, Lone Jack Police, Oak Grove Police, and Raytown Police and EMS. Raytown Fire also uses the KCMO Site, and they are dispatched by KCFD. Jackson County Sheriff's Office is in the process of relocating their headquarters. Once their move is complete, they might switch all of their operations over to a 700MHz system and create an entirely new MARRS site/tower.
The following Jackson County agencies use the Eastern Jackson County Simulcast Site (#402) for dispatch and primary operations: Blue Springs Police Dept, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District (dispatched by KCFD), Independence Police and Fire, and Lake City Security and Fire. Some of the fire departments dispatched (via contract) by Lee's Summit (Ft. Osage, Sni Valley, Prairie Township, Lone Jack, and Lotawana) will likely transition to the Eastern Jackson County Site sometime within the next few months. Lee's Summit Police and Fire have no immediate plans to go digital, and will likely remain on their current UHF analog frequencies indefinitely.
Cass County, MO
- All Cass County agencies switched over to the Cass County MARRS P25 Site (#404) back in May. As of this update, Cass County Sheriff's Office, Harrisonville Police and Fire, Pleasant Hill PD, Raymore Police, South Metro Fire Protection District , and most of the rural fire departments have fully transitioned from their older UHF/VHF conventional frequencies to the new system. Belton PD and Peculiar PD are also using the new system, however, people have reported that they continue to simulcast radio traffic on their old frequencies. Pleasant Hill Fire Protection District is not on the new system yet, but they're in the process of switching out equipment. All law enforcement agencies are fully encrypted to the new P25 system.
Kansas City, KS and Wyandotte County
- All Wyandotte County agencies switched over to the KCK/WYCO MARRS P25 Site (#302) back in June. KCKPD, Bonner Springs PD, Edwardsville PD, and the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office are fully encrypted for primary dispatch and most other operations.
Leavenworth County, KS
- Leavenworth Police and Fire switched over to the Kansas Statewide P25 system back in late August/early September. Simulcasting from the old analog UHF frequencies has been discontinued, however, they maintain those repeaters for backup use. Basehor and Lansing PD have also switched to the KSICS system.
Douglas and Shawnee County, KS
All Douglas County agencies switched over to the Kansas Statewide P25 system back in June. There are a few encrypted law enforcement channels, but everything else is publicly accessible with scanning equipment.
All Shawnee County agencies (including Shawnee County Sheriff, Topeka PD, and Topeka Fire) switched over to the new Countywide P25 system back in Late May. As of this update, AMR Ambulance is the only public safety agency still operating on the older Motorola analog system. It is unknown when they will switch, but it will happen eventually.
State of Missouri
Implementation of the Missouri Statewide Interoperable Network (MOSWIN) is underway at multiple locations across the State. MSHP Troop A (KC/Lee's Summit) and MSHP Troop H (St. Joseph) are still in the process of transitioning from low band to the new system (mobiles are reported to be fully swapped out, portables are not). Low band is reported to be in "simulcast" mode at most locations. Other troop locations are either fully operational on P25 or shouldn't be much farther behind. The MOSWIN system will be expanded over the next year or so (however, it appears the project is quickly nearing completion).
Current information suggests that MOSWIN will use narrowband VHF frequencies exclusively, however, some 700 MHz sites have started to pop up in Columbia, St. Louis, and Northern portions of the State. MOSWIN was recently "linked" in with the Kansas City Metropolitan Area Regional Radio System (MARRS) via ISSI (on sites #401 and #402).
As of this update the following agencies are now using MOSWIN for dispatch and/or misc operations: Andrew County Sheriff's Office (North of St. Joseph), Buchanan County Sheriff's Office (linked in with the Buchanan County 800 MHz system to improve coverage to the South end of the County), Atchison County, MO Law agencies (Rock Port area), Barry County Sheriff's Office and Municipal Law Agencies, Bates County Sheriff's Office, Centralia Police Dept (Boone County), Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Harrison County Sheriff's Office (Bethany area), Nodaway County Sheriff's Office (Maryville area), Livingston County Sheriff's Office, Mercer County Sheriff's Office, Sedalia Police Dept, and Taney County Sheriff's Office (Branson area).
To keep up on the progress and evolution of this system, please follow these forum discussions at radioreference.com: Discussion #1 and Discussion #2.