"If there's a manhunt, or if there's a lost person. Right now an officer has to carry a cellphone or radio. Or when all else fails call the station and ask him to make a phone call," Mayor Newell Arnerich said.
Now officers from different departments can be reached by pressing a button. There are 42 agencies in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are participating.
One of the few holdouts is the Oakland police, which is now testing its police radios with the regional system.