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Since the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department converted its primary communication channel to digital, citizens who monitor radio traffic need new scanners, such as this one, to hear transmissions. Digital-capable scanners cost significantly more than analog scanners.

10-4: Searching for a clear signal

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The bluffs and valleys of Pierce County can make wireless communications difficult, a challenge the Sheriff’s Department and the county’s other emergency responders hope to overcome with a transition to a system that uses both analog and digital signal.


While feedback from firefighters and emergency medical services has been positive, deputies’ reactions to the new digital transmissions on the main frequency have been guarded.

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Judy Wiff
Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.
(715) 426-1049