April 17, 2008

SEMA Grant Will Fund New Radios For Sheriffís Office

The Scotland County Sheriffís Department was notified this week that it will be funded for one piece of the pie, but Sheriff Wayne Winn couldnít hide his disappointment that his office was not getting the entire pastry.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) announced that the local law enforcement office would receive a $12,375 grant from state homeland security interoperable com-munications program.

The program, which began in 2007, funds radio upgrades for public safety providers that will allow communication systems to be upgraded to the new P25 compliant systems. Project 25 (P25) is a set of standards for digital radio communications for use by federal, state and local public safety agencies to allow them to communicate with other agencies and mutual aid response teams in emergencies.

The award will allow the sheriff to purchase up to five mobile radio units for the departmentís vehicles.

The department had submitted a request of $70,035 in funding to pay for the mobile units, as well as hand held units, a new repeated station and a new base radio unit.

ďUnfortunately it looks like will be forced to modernize our system one piece at a time,Ē Winn said. ďA lot of our equipment is ancient. We are using surplus Highway Patrol hand held units and definitely hope to upgrade our base radio unit as well as the repeater unit that relays radio traffic from the mobile radios to the dispatcher.Ē

Winn indicated the new base unit has a price tag of more than $27,000. The repeater will cost $12,000 with new hand held radios expected to cost more than $18,000.

The Scotland County Sheriffís Department currently dispatches for the Memphis Police Department as well as the Memphis, Scotland County, Rutledge and Gorin fire departments.



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