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Statewide Communications

Techncian performing a communication tower repair
The Communications Section consists of two main areas of operation:

Organization Chart
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Statewide Dispatch

The Statewide Dispatch Center is located in a secured area of the Central Office Complex.

The Dispatch Center consists of three separate console positions with instant communications to all parts of the state via microwave and fiber using voice over IP protocol. Each console has computer access to the AHTD mainframe as well as to the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) systems.

All radio traffic throughout the state is received and monitored at all times. Eight Telecommunications Operators and one Telecommunications Supervisor maintain a 24-hour a day, seven days a week operation.

The dispatchers are responsible for routine radio communications, updating road reports including the AHTD Road Conditions Hotline and the AHTD web site, as well as traffic related emergency communications. They are also responsible for providing information to the Arkansas Highway Police to assist in the enforcement of trucking regulations. License checks and criminal history information are obtained through the ACIC and NCIC databases.

On a normal workday, the operators field over 500 radio and telephone calls. In addition, all calls normally received by the Central Office Switchboard are forwarded to the Dispatch Center during non-business hours or during inclement weather.

To contact the Dispatch Center by phone dial (501) 569-2469. To access the Road Condition Recording, updated for road closings and inclement weather conditions, dial (501) 569-2374 or 1 (800) 245-1627. The Dispatch Center acts as a merging point for 2 radio systems. One is the Department's own legacy network of repeaters, base station, mobile radios, microwave stations, and hand held portables.

The other system is the Arkansas Wireless information Network that our Highway Police communicate over with mobile radios and handhelds. The AWIN system, maintained by the Arkansas Department of Information Systems, is a statewide radio system that allows inter-agency communications, primary public safety.

AWIN System Map
AWIN Coverage Map


Communications Equipment Maintenance

Nine Communications Maintenance Specialist Maintain the Department's communication system. Five are responsible for two districts each and four are stationed in the Central Radio Shop. Although they are Communication Section personnel, they work closely with the District personnel coordinating repairs, unit changes and installations. In turn, the District personnel assist in the technician's maintenance of the repeater facilities.

Each year, the purchase of new vehicles and new radio equipment results in a mass number of radio changes. Each Technician is equipped with an inventory of spare radios, parts, test equipment and tools necessary to make the unit changes as well as replace and repair the majority of problems that occur. They are also responsible for all related equipment in their district necessary to keep the system operating, i.e., maintaining towers, transmission lines, antennas, emergency generators, etc. In the past five years some 800 obsolete radios have been replaced.

 
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