Perhaps there’s nowhere in government services where clear communication is more important than on law enforcement SWAT teams.

Thanks to a $24,500 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is buying four high-tech radios for its SWAT team vehicles.

Once the new radio equipment is assembled and installed, it will enhance communications between those vehicles as well as between the SWAT teams and the other officers in the Sheriff’s Department.

The department’s SWAT teams serve the entirety of Guilford County, which now has a population of nearly 550,000.

In the midst of a wave of mass shootings across the country (including a mid-October 2022 shooting spree in Raleigh), terrorist threats to power infrastructure, hostage situations, and an alarming number of other major threats prevalent in today’s society, the state’s crime commission and local law enforcement have been working to improve threat response capabilities.

Information provided to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners from the Sheriff’s Department makes this point.

“In an era of constant reports of officer/resident safety around the world, as well as officer fatalities, reliable communications is at the cornerstone of officer survival and the safety of our residents,” the memo reads. “This grant will assist the agency in providing necessary equipment for law enforcement officers to protect and serve while remaining safe.”

One goal of the grant, in addition to improving communications, is to “create an atmosphere of safety for those utilizing the equipment in situations that are combative or compromising situations for officers or a citizen in a critical state.”

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to officially approve the grant at the board’s Thursday, Jan. 5 meeting.