Eaton County officials broke ground Aug.1 for the start of a public safety radio project upgrade that includes four new towers, upgrades to three existing towers, new communications systems for all outdoor warning sirens in the county and new radios for all first responders in the county.
The new system’s cost is $12.8 million with a 10-year warranty on equipment and a 10-year battery replacement program. The project is funded by a 911 surcharge passed by voters in 2017, that specifically funds the radio system and not the general operations of the 911 center.
Tower construction will begin in August at sites located in Sunfield, Delta and Walton townships; a fourth tower is expected to be constructed in Charlotte in October. Equipment will be placed on existing MPSCS towers in Windsor Township and Nashville, and on a privately owned tower in Hamlin Township.
The new project adds infrastructure to the Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS), a partnership that allows better communication with agencies outside the county and also saves cost as the county is benefiting from existing infrastructure already in place by the MPSCS, including two of its radio towers.
The system is expected to be live in the third quarter of 2019, and will provide reliable communication for first responders for decades to come, officials said.
Motorola Solutions, the company that built and maintains the MPSCS network, was awarded the project.
Several officials gave their full support to the upgrades.//
911 Director Michael Armitage: “The current radio system uses outdated technology and was at the end of life.”
Sheriff Tom Reich: “Anytime we can improve the safety of my deputies and the community with projects like this, it will always have my support.”
Bellevue Fire Chief Mark Jordan: “The new radio system will provide Bellevue with a single solution to communicate with the three countries we operate in. This upgrade will allow for the communication of accurate information in a timely manner, when it matters the most.”
Grand Ledge Police Chief Marin Underhill: "We believe that communications is the lifeline of emergency services. Our new radio system will strengthen the power of that life line, increasing the levels of safety and service delivered by our first responders,"
Eaton Rapids Police Chief Larry Weeks: “I am excited to be transitioning to a system that will allow police, fire and EMS to communicate more efficiently and enhance the safety of our first responders.”
MPSCS Director Brad Stoddard: “The Office of Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS) is proud of the continued and expanded partnership with Eaton County ensuring the most reliable, secure and interoperable communications for the first responders across the county…”