nearly $1.4 million lease deal for an emergency radio system upgrade for the sheriff’s department communications system was approved on Monday by the Platte County Commission.
The new deal, which is in addition to a current lease deal the county already has in place with Motorola, upgrades the emergency radios and also covers upgrades to the “back haul” of the emergency radio system. The “back haul” is the technological network that carries the transmissions.
“It is how the data is transferred from point A to point B,” explained Cpt. Tony Avery of the Platte County Sheriff’s Department.
An original 10-year, $10.7 million lease deal with Motorola was agreed to in 2012 when the county switched to a narrowbanding radio system. That lease deal later sparked a five cent increase in the county tax levy to cover the payments.
The new $1.4 million deal is structured in such a way that the lion’s share of the payment won’t be due until the original 10-year lease deal payments are completed. According to the agreement approved this week on the $1.4 million upgrade, the county will make payments of $100,000 in 2021, $100,000 in 2022, approximately $981,000 in 2023 and roughly $335,000 in 2024, officials said.
Avery said a software upgrade to the regional 911 system, which is through Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), mandates what hardware can be utilized by that software upgrade. The new lease will update the sheriff’s department radios to be usable with that new software.
Avery said the current radios would have been considered as out of service or at “end of life” in December.
The software upgrade he mentioned is about “two years out.”
Avery said eventually it is expected the 911 system will become a Next Generation 911 system that will incorporate the use of video into 911 calls.
“It will eventually have the ability to transfer live video across the 911 system.
Transferring video is significantly more resource-dependent than transferring small packets,” he said.
The upgrade will increase the bandwidth to allow the increased amount of data across the 911 system.
Already 911 users can text the system if they are in a situation where they cannot safely speak, Avery said.