Marshall County Commission to discuss new radios for first responders

Next week, the Marshall County Commission is set to discuss new radios for first responders.

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 5:52 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2021 10:45 PM

Next week, the Marshall County Commission is set to discuss new radios for first responders.

The P25 radios will cost the county more than $400,000. Right now, Marshall County is in the middle of a major platform update for the communications systems for law enforcement, emergency management and more.

In order to work with the new, more efficient and digital system, first responders need more advanced radios.

Right now, offices like the sheriff's office are using outdated radios that work with an analog system. Emergency management director Anita McBurnett says the new digital system will let first responders communicate clearer and further than ever before.

Sheriff Phil Sims says right now, their radios only get about 60% coverage of the county, at best.

"If your radio don't work, you can't communicate. There's been many a time, deputies have been out on scenes, needed help, couldn't get out. They'd have to find a way to get their cell phone out and call and say, 'hey, I need help. Ya'll need to send some backup.' That's just unacceptable," said Sims.

The new system will boost their coverage to at least 90% of the county. Sims says the system and radios are planned to be up and running by July.

The radios discussed at the county commission meeting next Wednesday will be for county agencies only, like the sheriff's office. Each law enforcement agency outside of that, like city police departments, will be responsible for purchasing their own radios.

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