Sault Ste. Marie Police are preparing for a new radio system, since their current system, which is 15 years old, experiences communication problems and constant radio frequency interference.
However, police dispatchers still have problems ahead.
“Motorola is phasing out support the console’s main components. The withdrawal of assistance starts in 2016 and ends in 2018,” Deputy Chief Sean Sparling, said on Monday during a meeting of Police Services Board.
If the radio console isn’t replaced the city police have no backup system.
“A second issue is more pressing. Increased radio frequency interference with a downtown tower used by city police is causing coverage issues with officers on the road, especially in the east end,” Saultstar.com reported.
“Communication problems with radios are not uncommon, but they’ve been increasing over time,” Sparling added.
The new radio console would cost about $600,000 to install; two towers will also be installed in the east end of the city to fix well-known dead spots.
“It’s quite a significant budgetary impact. The police service has $488,000 in its capital reserves and contributes $165,000 annually to that fund. The reserve will be cleaned out if the board does not decide to up its annual dollar amount next year,” Sparling told the board.
The possibility of leasing radio equipment has also been discussed.
“Sparling anticipates the police service would purchase the radio console after city council passes its 2016 budget in April,” according to Saultstar.com