The Sedalia Police Department radio project will now move forward after the Sedalia City Council approved a bid for the project during Monday’s meeting.
The project was previously discussed during council’s budget talks earlier this year. The cost of the new radio system is $63,677.83, with $60,000 coming from the 2015 fiscal budget, and the other $3,677.83 coming from drug seizure funds from the SPD. Council approved bids from Motorola Solutions and Commenco for the new equipment and to complete the work on the project. The project will replace the department’s current radio repeater system, which currently loses signal in some areas of town, causing officers to use their cell phones to contact dispatch.
“Officers use the police car radio and the one with them, the walkie portable radio,” SPD Cmdr. Matt Wirt told the Democrat. “The one in the car is more powerful but the walkie has a little battery like your cell phone. There are locations around Sedalia where they can’t talk back to the station with those portable radios. The new system intention, its design will get us into those locations where we’re having problems on our portable radios.”
The new radios will also have digital capabilities, something the current walkies don’t have. The FCC will be requiring the move to digital for radio broadcasting in the next few years, so getting these new radios now will help with that transition later down the road, Wirt said.
To help keep the project costs down, the SPD is utilizing the Water Department’s water towers, which he said is a “good example of city departments working together.”
“Using the two city water towers as an actual tower allows us to get up in the air without building actual towers because it’s very expensive,” Wirt said. “We’ve heard from other cities that have built a tower and it can be between $500,000 and $1 million. Just being able to use (the Water Department’s) tower is a gigantic cost savings. This would be a very expensive project without them.”
Wirt said the next step is getting licensing through the FCC, and he said he hopes the project will be completed by the end of the summer.
During the meeting council also:
• Approved the annexation of an unincorporated area owned by Independent Living of Sedalia LLC into the City of Sedalia.
• Approved a Facilities Use Agreement between the city and the Missouri State Fairgrounds for the July Fourth fireworks display.
• Approved a Community Video Tour Agreement between the city and CGI Communications Inc., for the development and implementation of a community video program on the city’s official website.
• Approved a records destruction request from the Personnel Department.