LASD News

Sophisticated New Disaster Communications System


#LASD Implements Emergency Radio System to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Always preparing for the future, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has implemented a sophisticated new disaster communications system using UrgentLink technology at three LASD facilities.  The system is for use in the event of a catastrophic failure of all other conventional communication platforms.  To maximize coverage across the 4,100 square miles of Los Angeles County the Department serves, three facilities were strategically selected for the installation of the network hardware.

"The residents that we serve deserve to have the confidence in knowing that, even under the most extreme conditions, some communications platforms will be operational during a disaster,” said Dean Gialamas, Division Director of the LASD’s Technology and Support Division.  “This is an important addition towards expanding our disaster communications capabilities.”

Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, and the Sheriff’s Communications Center in East Los Angeles were equipped with the UrgentLink radio equipment, which will help preserve the operations of emergency radio communications in the event of a major natural disaster.  Unlike most other radio systems which work in a line-of-sight fashion, this system has the capability to stretch voices and bridge communications across thousands of miles.  This same technology has proven its worth with federal agencies, such as FEMA, and the U.S. Military.

After a 12-month evaluation by the Department’s Technology and Support Division personnel, the three telecommunications systems were leased in March, 2018, which includes all necessary equipment and services.  The systems provide our agency with regional coverage during times requiring disaster communications.  During the planning and placement of these first three telecommunication systems, considerations were also made for potential expansion to include other sheriff’s stations in the future.

This newest investment in technology by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the County of Los Angeles is ultimately an investment in our residents.  It will enhance public safety systems and communications in the event of a substantial emergency or natural disaster.  The equipment will allow sheriff’s personnel the ability to connect, even if traditional lines of communication become disabled.  Emergency communications are a vital component of public safety and protection of the millions of people living, working and visiting in the greater Los Angeles area. 

The UrgentLink disaster communications system was provided by Rockwell Collins, Inc., a company specializing in aviation solutions for companies, governmental agencies and the military.