KITCHENER -- The Waterloo Regional Police Service announced Wednesday that it had launched a $30 million, encrypted two-way voice radio platform.

The new tech replaces a 20-year-old system that police had used prior, providing "enhanced features and reliable two-way voice communications between first responders."

The new transmissions are digitally encrypted, which police say will enhance public safety.

"The P25 Voice Radio System is state-of-the-art technology that will benefit not only Emergency Services in Waterloo Region but the community as a whole," said police Chief Bryan Larkin.

"This modernized voice radio system will increase officer safety, confidentiality and operational security."

Officials say that police and fire services have already been switched over to the new system, while other regional agencies will be making the change over the next few months.