Captain Paul Wilson, PCWIN Project Sponsor
Fax: (520) 351-8106
In 2008, a 25-year-old man led police and sheriff’s deputies on a zig-zag car chase that began on the northwest side of Tucson and ended on Mount Lemmon, with one Tucson Police officer fatally wounded and two Pima County Sheriff’s deputies injured. The two deputies survived. Throughout that deadly chase, police and deputies weren’t able to talk to each other on the same radio frequency. The incident highlighted a serious flaw in emergency communications that is now being corrected. The radio communications systems throughout much of Pima County are on different radio frequency bands and use different proprietary technologies. They don’t provide for live, simultaneous communication among law enforcement, fire agencies and medical first responders.
The good news for county residents is that these outdated systems will be old news by mid-2014 when the county’s new public safety Wireless Integrated Network, funded by bonds approved by voters in 2004, is expected to begin operation.
The new Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN) system will enable 30 fire and law enforcement agencies from Tucson to Ajo, from Sahuarita to Mount Lemmon, and from the Rincon Valley to Avra Valley, to talk to each other by radio in real time on a single system, regardless of their jurisdiction boundaries.