SUNBURY – There is a problem with Northumberland County’s new 9-1-1 system, the radio signal strength is too low in parts of the county…that means police and other responders have trouble communicating with the county.
The Northumberland County Commissioners this week unanimously approved equipment upgrades that will give the county’s 911 system better signals. A Motorola representative says the upgrades will give first responders 90% of coverage in buildings and 95% on streets county wide. Three new communications towers will also be installed to boost the overall network.
Stu Apple, Ralpho Township Police Chief, talked about the importance for officers and first responders to have their hands free and not worry about the radio, “The radio never leaves our hip. We need our hands free, and again, that’s for officer safety. We have to be able to defend ourselves or aggressively reduce the threat without having to worry about holding on to a radio.”
As previously reported by WKOK, the cost of the towers adds $3.1 million to the 2018 budget, Commissioner Chairman Rick Shoch, “This keeps us up to date throughout the course of this so we don’t end up with a big bill at some point later because we didn’t keep our system up to date, and we don’t have functionality with it.”
You can see a full story about the county’s 2018 budget at WKOK.com. (Matt Catrillo)