Kingman schools receive police radios for direct contact

Eight Kingman schools received 16 hand-held radios Monday that will provide a link between school staff and Kingman police and fire departments in case of emergencies.

Two radios each will be given to the principals and assistant principals of Kingman High School South Campus, Kingman Junior High School, and Manzanita, Palo Christi and Hualapai elementary schools as well as the three campuses of Kingman Academy of Learning, KPD Lt.

Ray Sipe said.

All of KPD's patrol cars have had or will have the radios installed.

Frequencies on KPD officer's portable radios were also updated.

All the radios will officially be put in use Sept.

5, according to Kingman Unified School District Superintendent Mike Ford.

"Because of the work done by the police, we now have direct access with police and fire for an emergency," Ford said.

In the past, if a school needed the police or fire departments during an emergency, a teacher or school staff had to tell a student to tell the school secretary who then called dispatch, who then directed the police officer to the scene.

"It will give us better communication overall, not third-hand information," Kingman police Cpl.

Stacey Holloway said.

Holloway, a school resource officer at KHS South Campus, already has her own radio.

With the radios, precious time can be saved along with a more direct line of information between school staff and every patrol officer, including the police department.

The radios, however, do not replace the 911 emergency system.

"The people on the street (patrol officers) will hear it (an emergency) before the dispatchers will," KPD Chief Larry Butler said.

Butler said as far as he knows Kingman school district is the only one in the country that has the radios.

"It will give us a sense of security and safety for our staff and students to have direct contact with fire and police," Manzanita Elementary School Principal Marianne Smith said.

A radio repeater and other radio equipment were recently installed at KPD's radio tower off Hualapai Mountain Road as well at the police department.

The radio equipment costs an additional $18,000, Sipe said.

KPD now uses 10 radio frequencies.

The new frequency will only be used for communication between police officers and school staff.

The radios will also allow better communication during practice emergency drills at schools as well as during an actual school crisis where officers are on the scene for a prolonged period of time, Sipe said.