Sen. Casey calls on FCC to grant compatible frequencies to AMTRAK police

Listen

Amtrak police are complaining about not being able to talk to first responders over their two way radios. 

The Federal Communications Commission classifies Amtrak force as “train police” and issues them frequencies in the VHF band, which is incompatible with local police and fire radios that use the UHF band.

Amtrak Police Union President David Pearlson says this causes what could be life-threatening delays.

“A lot of calls either go back to our dispatch center to relay information or we simply call them by dialing 9-1-1 on the phone,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) is asking FCC to issue compatible frequencies to the Amtrak police.

“We don’t want anything to happen at a destination because the law enforcement officials charged with the safety of a passenger, the destination or the rails themselves cannot communicate in a way that’s appropriate,” Casey said.

Casey says he’s not sure how much it would cost to buy new radios if the FCC grants new frequencies. 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.