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So. Calif. Sheriff''s Radio System Gets $2.25-Million Boost

The Orange County, Calif. Sheriff's Department has received a $2.25-million federal grant to enhance radio communications with other Southern California law enforcement and fire agencies.

The department already uses a sophisticated communication system that allows all of the county's emergency services agencies to talk to one another ¿ an important benefit in disasters and other emergencies when multiple agencies respond to the same incident.

The Justice Department grant will pay for communications gear that will integrate the Sheriff's Department with the Los Angeles and Long Beach police departments, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol.

"This augmented system will give us capability to have a sheriff's deputy in Lake Forest talk to a CHP cruiser in Lake Forest," said sheriff's spokesman Jon Fleischman. Orange County will add $700,000 to the upgrade project, bringing the total value to nearly $3 million, he said.

Nationwide, $82.6 million for integrated communications networks was given to 23 communities in 17 states, including the Sacramento Police Department and the city of San Diego.

The money was awarded under the federal Community Oriented Policing Services program, which fosters improved communications among law enforcement, fire service and emergency medical service agencies.

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