City spending more than $840,000 for police radio system

November 25, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown will spend $842,777 to buy new routers, pagers and radios for the Hagerstown Police Department.

The City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday to buy the equipment, which will be paid for through bond financing.

Hagerstown Police Capt. Charles Summers said Monday that the new routers, pagers and radios will replace gear that is more than 10 years old.

"It will cover everybody on the police force," Summers said. "Hopefully, we'll get them at the beginning of the new year."

The equipment is part of a $26 million project to upgrade Washington County's communications system. Police, firefighters and rescue personnel from different agencies currently cannot talk to each other over their radios.


Summers said the city's radio purchase will change the old system for the better.

"Now, it's just a matter of a twist of a dial that will let you talk to the fire providers or the EMS providers (throughout the county)," Summers said.

According to city documents, the purchase will include the following items:

o 55 mobile radios for police vehicles, $212,080

o 23 mobile routers, high-performance data hardware and operating software for data exchange, $154,359

o Two mobile radios for fire police van and command car (including installation), $16,400

o 102 portable radios with accessories for police officers, $388,926

o Three portable radios with accessories for parking enforcement, $4,782

o 20 portable radios with accessories for fire police, $56,680

o 50 pagers for specific police department positions, $9,550

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said during Tuesday's meeting that the equipment purchase was necessary to culminate the upgrade of the communications system.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said last week that the city tried to use its lobbyist, The Ferguson Group, to get federal dollars to purchase the equipment. The Ferguson Group informed city officials, however, that the money would not be available, Zimmerman said.

How they voted:

Martin E. Brubaker, yes

Kelly S. Cromer, yes

Lewis C. Metzner, yes

Penny M. Nigh, yes

Alesia D. Parson-McBean, yes

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