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Montco Officials Announce Plan To Upgrade County’s Emergency Radios

(Hatfield police chief Mark Toomey, at lectern, says he applauds the decision of the Montgomery County commissioners to upgrade the county's radio systems.  Credit: Brad Segall)

(Hatfield police chief Mark Toomey, at lectern, says he applauds the decision of the Montgomery County commissioners to upgrade the county’s radio systems. Credit: Brad Segall)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Montgomery County officials are finally moving forward with plans to upgrade the county’s emergency dispatch radio system for first responders.

County officials say this upgrade will greatly improve safety to the residents but the cost won’t break the bank.

After intense negotiations with Motorola, the county will pay nearly $30 million to upgrade the current infrastructure and buy new equipment. Just two years ago that estimate was as high as $100 million.

County commissioner Bruce Castor (wearing red necktie in photo) says the system should eliminate problems when departments try to communicate with each other.

“We expect everybody to be able to talk to everybody,” Castor said today. “That was always a big pain in the neck when you’re trying to go from one department to the next.”

The county will also add ten new antenna towers incorporate microwave technology to eliminate dead spots throughout the county, retrofit existing radios, and buy new radios.

How they plan to pay for it all is something the commissioners say will be resolved early next year.


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