Local News

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office and EMA will be receiving a needed upgrade in their communication systems.

The Sheriff's Office recently received word they will be the recipient for a grant to help upgrade their narrow band radio system. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains the upgrade to the system comes about as part of the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) new regulations that must be met by the end of 2012. Sheriff Shofner explains the equipment they are currently using is from the 1980's.

[audio:narrowband1.mp3]A Word From The Sheriff[/audio]

The grant was awarded to the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency, however, the equipment that will be purchased will service DeWitt County in their emergency preparedness. Sheriff Shofner is pleased that the grant will help the county's EMA take a big step forward in getting financing together for the equipment.

[audio:narrowband2.mp3]A Word From The Sheriff[/audio]

With the aging system in place frequently failing on the different departments and agencies using it, Sheriff Shofner says the project was one of the biggest projects he saw a need for when he took office. He stresses the grant will enable the County to provide much better public safety communications than they currently do.

[audio:narrowband3.mp3]A Word From The Sheriff[/audio]

The Sheriff says the most important aspect in an emergency is communication, and he feels the upgrade of their system will improve the communication with the public and also make it consistent to keep the public informed.

The 2 grants will total close to $188-thousand dollars. The Sheriff notes the grant cuts the cost nearly in half, as he estimates upgrading the system is close to $400-thousand dollars.

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