Monday, February 6, 2023 Feb 6, 2023
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Local News

Newfangled Police Scanner Leads To Dead Plano Shrubbery

By Adam McGill |

This story about radio signals, sprinkler systems, and feuding suburbs has the makings of theater. To wit:

Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville: “Hey, everybody. Check out our new, expensive police communication system. It’s mighty powerful. Why, I bet its radio signals could reach almost 30 miles away.”

Plano: “Hmm. Anyone around here have the instruction manual for our new, expensive sprinkler system? We spent $5 million on the thing and it aint’ working. Look at how dry those medians and city parks are.”

Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville: “Even though we’re only in the testing phase, we can tell the $1.3 million we spent on our radio signals was worth it. We can’t wait to put it to use. Let’s activate it this month.”

Plano: “Seriously, it should work. The brochure said the specific radio signal would tell each sprinkler when to come on and for how long. What’s up?” [Pause] “Wait a sec. What if … Nah … Couldn’t be … But, maybe …”

[Time passes]

Plano: “Say Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville, Do you mind not using your new, expensive police communications system? We think it’s interfering with our sprinklers. If not, we have to reprogram all 539 sprinkers by hand. It’ll cost about $250,000.”

Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville: “Too bad. We like our system. And it’s important. Which comes first: Watering plants or protecting police and fire?” [That last line was a direct quote of Tim Smith, managing director of the Southwest Regional Communications Center.]

Plano: “Can’t we negotiate? Maybe you guys could delay your launch and give us time to make some upgrades?”

Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville: “Umm, don’t think so.”

Plano: “That’s it. We’re telling the FCC on you guys.”

Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Duncanville: “Fine, go ahead.”

Plano: “Fine. We will.”

To be continued…