Communications for the department got a new makeover. Police are saying it's the most advanced in Northeast Louisiana.
"It just allows us to really be in the 21st century." said Monroe Police chief Quentin Holmes.
Mayor Mayo and police officials made the announcement on the new system Wednesday morning. Officials say everything from the dispatch center, to police vehicle radios got an upgrade, something they've had up and running for a week now.
"It's been going on 28 years that I've been here and we've never had anything in radio communication like this," said Lt. Paul Harper with MPD.
The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, put out a mandate, requiring the police department to upgrade from a low to high bandwidth radio system. The old one was about 30 years old.
"In the old system, we've been out in certain areas of the city where you need to call for help and your radios not going to work, it just wouldn't get out," said Harper.
MPD can now talk to other police departments with the radios, essential for car chases taking Monroe Police into other jurisdictions, or State Police coming into town.
"If you got into another agency's jurisdiction, you either had to call on cellphone and get patched thru to the dispatcher while you're talking," said Harper, adding that could cause big troubles.
With one push of a button on their hand-held radios, police can immediately send a distress signal -- bringing help to their location.
"He can now push his emergency button and for a few seconds, we hear every word that's going on," said Sandra Walker, a Monroe Police dispatcher.
One feature in this new radio system allows police officers as far away as New Orleans to use this radio and communicate with officers right back here in Monroe.
"If I were at a conference in New Orleans, I can access my radio and talk to here in Monroe , just like I'm next door," Holmes said.
Dispatchers who spend long hours in the communication center say they're especially happy with the new features of the dispatch room, with desks that can raise and lower with a special machine.
"I don't have to bend over, I can stand here and type without stressing my back out," said Walker.
Overall, Monroe police say these enhancements are crucial.
"You're saving those few seconds that are critical to where you can actually get where you need to go," Holmes said.
The new system cost $1.2 million. A feature still in the works is the Auto Vehicle Locater, helping dispatchers see which police vehicles are closest to a particular call -- officials say that will help them further boost response time.