By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – After years of planning, an update to emergency communication systems in Montgomery County is becoming reality.

Norristown police got some of the radios last week and so far, so good says chief Mark Talbot.

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He says the replacements were long overdue:

“Our radios were from the late-90s. It is irresponsible if you ask me to have technology that is that far out of date.”

He says they’ve been using rubber-bands and parts salvaged from internet sites to keep the radios working:

“You can’t keep a community safe with radio’s from 1990.”

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Montco Commissioner Josh Shapiro holding one of the new police radios. (Credit: Jim Melwert)

Montco Commissioner Josh Shapiro holding one of the new emergency radios. (Credit: Jim Melwert)

In addition to 4,700 new radios going out to all police, EMS, and fire agencies, commissioner Josh Shapiro says the county is upgrading the network:

“There were literally dead-spots across Montgomery County where they were unable to use their radios.”

The county is spending more than $35-million to build or re-purpose 30 new towers.

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Twenty-nine are done. The last one is held up in a dispute with Upper Merion Township.