The State Government has signed a seven-year contract with Telstra to upgrade police and emergency services radio equipment.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said new radio equipment would replace outdated analogue systems with new secure, encrypted digital equipment providing better voice clarity, coverage and the capability to track the location of devices, improving member safety and response times.
Importantly, the new radios will stop communications being intercepted by the public through a smartphone app or scanner.
‘‘The safety of Victorian Police is our highest priority and we’re making sure the public can’t listen in on police operations and they have the right tools to catch criminals,’’ Ms Neville said.
The contract delivers on an election commitment and provides more than 8000 radios for Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Services, Life Saving Victoria and Corrections Victoria, and can be expanded to provide radio support services for other Government agencies.
Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said work was underway upgrading the radio towers with further work on key base infrastructure in early next year enabling the roll out of the in car and hand held radios from middle of 2017.
‘‘This sophisticated technology is more secure, has better voice clarity, will reduce the risk of communication failures and improve safety for our emergency services personnel and the community,’’ Mr Merlino said.