Both the police and fire departments in Des Plaines are unable to communicate via their portable radios when the are inside the Rivers Casino that opened this year.

officials discovered emergency personnel were having communications problems when inside the fortresslike facility, situated on 20 acres off Devon Avenue and Des Plaines River Road.

Des Plaines police didn’t test the radio system at the time of casino construction, said Deputy Police Chief Mike Kozak.

Officers noticed a problem while responding to the many service calls received from the casino almost daily.

“It’s pretty much anywhere inside the casino — 98 percent of the time, our radios will not receive,” Kozak said. “Basically when our officers are inside the casino, we can transmit, but we can’t receive. And the fire department is experiencing both transmitting and receiving problems … I think because of the metal and the way the structure is built.”

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