DOC wants MCF-Red Wing on 800 MhzGetting DOC agencies on the 800 Mhz platform will be time-consuming and expensive but it is crucial, said Stan Barber, MCF-Red Wing security captain.
By: Jen Cullen, The Republican Eagle
Minnesota Department of Corrections officials are working to get their facilities — including Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing — on the new statewide 800 Mhz radio network.
Goodhue County and Red Wing law enforcement officials are expected to be fully operating on the more reliable network by the end of the year.
Getting DOC agencies online would take several more years.
"We were hoping (the correctional facility) would go that way too," Goodhue County Sheriff Dean Albers said earlier this month at MCF-Red Wing's Mayor's Advisory Committee meeting.
A subcommittee of the Statewide Radio Board has approved the DOC's request to join the radio network, said Sarah Berg, corrections information officer.
"The department is optimistic about receiving approval from the full board," she said.
Getting DOC agencies on the 800 Mhz platform will be time-consuming and expensive but it is crucial, said Stan Barber, MCF-Red Wing security captain.
Using 800 Mhz equipment will allow local correctional officials to easily communicate with area law enforcement officials, Barber said.
It would also enable talk among officials at different correctional facilities statewide, currently not an option.
"All law enforcement agencies need to work together," Barber said. "This would enhance our ability to assist with local law enforcement but it would also help us communicate with each other."
Barber, who sits on the DOC's radio board, said funding for the project would likely come through state-sold bonds.
"To have the ability to have the correctional facility on this network will be huge," Red Wing police Chief Tim Sletten said this month.