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The Sheriff’s Office is spending almost $11 million  to replace its 22-year-old emergency communication system.

Between $7 million in grants and $4 million in county bond, the Sheriff’s Office is looking forward to upgrading the system.

“The paging system is antiquated,” Sheriff Gary Maha said. “It needs to be updated. We’ve been working on this for years and finally we have the revenue source through the state to put toward this project.”

Wednesday’s Ways and Means Committee passed several resolutions to move forward with the upgrades from approving the grants and issuing the bands, as well as approving a contract with a Rochester company to build the new system. 

“What we’re trying to do is, we’re capitalizing on the reconfiguration and the grant, combining all of these fundraising resources together to build out a system that meets our public safety needs and for our first responders in the field," Steven Sharpe, Genesee County Director of Emergency Communications, said. “We’re trying to build a more reliable paging network for our responders. At the end of the day, it’s about life safety.”

The Department of Homeland Security made the grants available for the project, as it pushes to build a system that all responders can share regardless of jurisdiction or agency in an emergency.

Once the new system is in place, those who use scanners will have to upgrade as well.

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