P25 Digital Upgrades
Updated June 24, 2014
Nearly all public safety agencies in the Kansas City Metropoltan 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 P25 transition initiative started with Independence, MO back in 2006, and ended in Late June 2014 with Wyandotte County, KS. There are still some smaller agencies in Clay and Jackson counties that haven't upgraded yet, but that should be changing fairly 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 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, Liberty Police and Fire, Independence Police and Fire, Gladstone Police and Fire, North Kansas City Police and Fire, Claycomo Police and Fire, Platte County Sheriff's Office, Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, Blue Springs Police Dept, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, Raytown Fire Protection District, Riverside Police and Fire, and all Johnson County Police and Fire agencies. As time goes on, other agencies (such as Raytown Police and EMS, Grandview Police and Fire, Kearney PD, Mosby PD, and Pleasant Valley Police and Fire) will be ditching their older analog radios and hopping on board with the newer digital technology.
Here's what we've heard (or know) about the future, past, and ongoing radio system projects:
Clay County, MO
- Clay County Sheriff's Office has been using several talkgroups on the Kansas City, MO MARRS P25 Site (#401) for primary dispatch and other operations. They continue to maintain the VHF repeaters ("Private-1" 155.700) for backup use. Kearney and Mosby PD are both dispatched on the "Private-2" repeater (159.825). According to one of our police contacts in that area, Kearney and Mosby will likely switch over to P25 sometime later this year.
Jackson County, MO
Raytown Police and EMS are in the process of switching over to the Kansas City, MO MARRS P25 Site (#401). We're not exactly sure how long it will take them to switch. KCFD took over dispatching operations for the Raytown Fire Protection District last year.
Central Jackson County Fire Protection District will be closing down their dispatch center sometime within the next few months. KCFD has been selected to take over dispatching operations for the District.
Cass County, MO
- Cass County agencies began switching over to the MARRS Regional P25 system (Site #404) back in late May. As of this update Cass County Sheriff's Office, Belton, Harrisonville, Pleasant Hill, and Raymore have fully transitioned from their older UHF/VHF frequencies to the new system. Others are still in the process of installing equipment. As previously mentioned, all Cass County law enforcement agencies (with the exception of Peculiar PD) are fully encrypted.
Kansas City, KS/Wyandotte County
- Wyandotte County agencies switched over to the MARRS Regional P25 system (Site #302) on June 22nd. KCKPD, Bonner Springs PD, Edwardsville PD, and Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office are fully encrypted for primary dispatch and most other operations.
Douglas and Shawnee County, KS
Douglas County agencies switched over to the Kansas Statewide P25 system on June 17th.
Shawnee County Sheriff's Office and Topeka PD switched over to the Shawnee County P25 System back in late May. Topeka Fire and several rural fire districts (Mission Twp, Shawnee Heights, and Solider Twp) switched on June 20th. Due to radio complications at the Shawnee County 911 Center, Fire Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 will remain on the older Motorola analog system a bit longer.
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) recently started transitioning from low band to the new system (although low band is still in use in "simulcast" mode at most locations). Other troop locations shouldn't be much farther behind. This P25 digital network 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 700/800 MHz activity has been noted in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. MOSWIN has already been "linked" in with the Kansas City Metro MARRS System.
To keep up on the progress and evolution of this system, please follow these forum discussions at radioreference.com: Discussion #1 and Discussion #2.