San Mateo County Live
Richard Tidd and RadioReference.com
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Below is information on my live police radio scanners for San Mateo County.
I am a fire buff but also listen to police, rail road and other radio traffic from home scanners and Internet radios or with computers.
I dedicate these live police scanners to the dedicated and professional police service personnel (officers, dispatchers etc) and the private industry partners that supports them. They serve San Mateo County and the various cities well.
They are true heroes in every sense of the word. They risk their lives to uphold law & order for us each day. They well deserve the pay they get but often deserve more.
I also thank RadioReference.com for hosting these live scanners. Please check them out for many other live scanners across the USA.
Police Service Scanners:
Currently, I have two police service scanners in a stereo stream:
Left Side: San Mateo County Trunked Radio System (TRS) Radio System (See below).
Right Side: San Mateo County Cities Police (Conventional - see below).
The right channel also includes the SMCo. Law MA Tac's and Green channels.
Please refer to Radio References for San Mateo County
for frequency information.
San Mateo County Wide TRS System:
(see Radio Reference.com for San Mateo County for additional information)
All county wide agencies in San Mateo County use the digital TRS and are dispatched by the San Mateo County Public Safety Communications 911 Dispatch dispatch center at the Hall Of Justice in Redwood City, California. They also handle all the 911 calls in the unincorporated areas of the county and they do a great job with high call volume from phones and radio calls.
Before the county TRS, each county agency had their own separate conventional radio system as follows:
The Sheriff's office (SO) and Medical (AMR Ambulance) was a T-band 488mhz conventional system.
County PW and Parks where a conventional VHF high band system.
Animal Control (Peninsula Humane Society) was on the conventional low band (45mhz) LG1 system
The OES was on the UHF conventional LG2 system.
County agencies are on this TRS:
SMCo Sheriff's Office (Sheriff Dispatch)
Public Works (Roads, Airports. etc)
Animal Control (Peninsula Humane Society)
Medical (AMR Ambulance Dispatch)
La Honda Fire Brigade (Volunteer unit & for comms with the SO. Dispatched via County Fire)
All other county departments
The original TRS design was to be an analog TRS but somewhere along the design track, the system became a digital TRS.
San Mateo County now employees a T-Band, 488mhz, multi site Motorola Type II SmartZone Omnilink, APCO-25 (Digital) Common Air Interface Exclusive system.
Each TRS user (county agency, city etc) on the system is charged a fee for each radio on the system.
The fee is about $15-$20 per month per radio no matter what department they are.
The county TRS is divided into two main zones: North and south with HW92 the divider as far as I know.
There are several fill sites as follows to:
La Honda (Town Ridge)
Pt. Montara Youth Hostel
The county TRS system had serious issues from the start. Garbled communication's, poor to non existent coverage and other issue complaints from the users where common. Most of the complaints came from the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's officers where often heard to say "you went digital" meaning the traffic completely broke up and was unintelligible.
Things became so bad that the Sheriffs Office, who are the main users, abandoned the TRS system for a approx 2 months starting about Sept 2005 while system wide problems where addressed. During this period, the Sheriff's Office used the GREEN Channel (488.8875) as their primary; Redwood City PD (the only city agency on the TRS, used their old channel 2 (488.7875). Other county agencies remained on the TRS during this period as their useage was less that that or the SO.
From approx Sept 2005 to November 2005s, the system was digitally re-tuned. Some sites were added with more added later.
The Sheriff's Office and Redwood City PD returned to the TRS in approx Nov 2005 to a much improved system. The site additions helped the SO and other County agencies with coverage and "you went digital" has became far less frequent.
Redwood City PD still experienced coverage and other issues not fully resolved. In about July of 2007, Redwood City PD decided to abandon the county digital trunking system and they went back to their analog frequencies. As of April 2009, RCPD is still off the TRS with no plans to return that I know of.
The Police Academy:
Located at the College of San Mateo, is the Moore Regional Public Safety Center . This is a joint use facility shared by College of San Mateo and the training program of the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium (the Consortium). The RPSC provides training facilities for law enforcement agencies within San Mateo County for all law enforcment officers.
The City Police agencies in San Mateo Co:
None of the 23 Law jurisdictions are on the TRS system at this time.
The only city agency that joined the county TRS was Redwood City Police. Redwood City PD encountered numerous communications problems (see above) so they left the TRS system for a while. The returned after there issues where addressed but wound up leaving again after a while due to again numerous communications problems, and are now back on conventional analog radio system with their own dispatch. As far as I know, they have no plans to return to the County TRS system.
The only Police agency that is not a city PD is Broadmoore Police.
Broadmoore is a Police Protection District as Broadmoore is a community and not a city or a Town.
The Broadmoor Police Protection District is the last operational police protection district in the state of California and is funded via a special property tax assessment funds that dates back to 1948. In 2007, Senate Bill 230 provides Broadmoor Police with the same legal recognition and status of a city or municipal police department. The Broadmoor Police Protection District is governed by a Police Commission, the Broadmoor Police Protection District Board of Police Commissioners, which consists of three residents elected at large every four years.
Most of the city's dispatch their own Police with these exceptions:
Brisbane contracts with San Mateo City PD for Brisbane PD dispatch.
The following City PD's are dispatched by the San Mateo County Public Safety Communications 911 Dispatch dispatch center:
Millbrae PD (as of 2006)
Broadmoor Police Protection District
East Palo Alto PD
SMCo. City Police agencies Dispatch listed by area:
· Colma Police Department