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Support for Decades to Come in Weslaco, Texas

City of Weslaco Upgrades Equipment and Regional Communications Center with Zetron

With a mission “to enhance the quality of life in the City through a proactive and professional level of police service,” The Weslaco Police Department is there to not only keep everyone safe, but support and build partnerships with their community. So when it came time for Jennifer Vilches, administrative services coordinator for the Weslaco Police Department, to upgrade their aging analog radio system and construct a new regional dispatch center, she needed the best.

“We needed a flexible, user-friendly system that could interface with our new P25 digital Harris radios, support future upgrades and would last for years to come” Vilches said.
With a stringent list of requirements laid out by Vilches, the Police and Fire departments, EMS and Public Works, the city council selected Zetron Reseller, Tri-County Communications for the

Tri-County Communications, who have been supporting Rio Grande Valley’s mission critical-communications, and the half dozen counties stretching from Laredo to Brownsville, Texas for the last 34 years was the perfect fit.

“They [Tri-County] carried an excellent reputation and being local made the decision even easier, Vilches said. They exceeded our expectations.”

After working out a plan to address the interoperability challenges they faced with the current equipment, Rick Surratt, technical operations manager for Tri-County Communications knew there was only one system that could meet their expectations: Zetron’s MAX Dispatch console.

Smooth Sailing

“Zetron’s excellent technical support and versatility to integrate with most any radios and networks made the decision a no-brainer,” Surratt said.

With construction of the new regional communications center nearing completion, the transition loomed. In order to assure Vilches and her team could stay up and running during the transition, Tri-County staged the new system in their shop. They patched the VHF analog system to the new P25 digital system and after two weeks of testing, the dispatchers were able to move over to the new dispatch center.

And the consoles remained patched until all mobile and portable radios were replaced, making the transition a seamless experience.

“In my 35 years in the radio communications industry, this system is by far the best. The ease of interfacing the Harris radios to Zetron’s MAX Dispatch system was incredible. I’ve never seen a console configuration seem so effortless,” Surratt said.

Train The Trainer

With the eight Zetron dispatch console positions, 19 Harris M7300 radios, 10 radio gateways and two MAX Central Gateways up and running in the new dispatch center, the next phase was training. But Vilches and her team of dispatchers required minimal training thanks to how user-friendly the system was.

“It was so easy to use, Vilches explained. Everything was incredibly straightforward, so we were able to teach ourselves without reading pages of training manuals. But when I did have a question they [Tri-County] never turned me down. I love that they’re always there when we need them.”

“It was a train the trainer approach, explained Surratt. She [Jennifer] was a great help in this department. She did her homework, which made the transition very easy and painless.”

The entire console configuration was customized by the police, fire, EMS and public works department heads this included the special alert tones and resource colors on the user interface. Once completed and reviewed the system was brought online on May 5.

Completed On Time And On Budget

“Not only did the project come in on time, but on budget as well, Surratt said. Seeing a project of this magnitude completed in this fashion makes everyone happy.” With new equipment to support the new communications center, the Weslaco Police Department can continue their mission to enhance the quality of life in the City of Weslaco and build even stronger partnerships with the community. And when the time comes to upgrade to a new CAD system, Vilches knows she can turn to Tri-County Communications and Zetron for the highest quality systems and support.

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