By Robbie Ward/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Planing for a major upgrade, the Lee County Board of Supervisors plans to spend up to $8.5 million to replace the existing 911 communications radios used countywide.
Supervisors unanimously agreed today to support the upgrade, the first since emergency 911 service began in the county in the early 1990s.
“We have to do this if we want to keep our people safe,” said Bobby Smith, supervisor for the second district and board president.
County leaders acknowledge the existing system’s age and technology capabilities make find finding replacement parts a challenge.
“It’s like operating a computer made in the early 1990s,” said Paul Harkins, Lee County 911 coordinator.
The Lee County E911 Board of Commissioners has recommended switching to the system used by state agencies, allowing easier to communication between Lee County emergency personnel and others outside of the area. The new upgrade will also allow county public safety personnel to better communicate within the county during emergency situations through expanded radio coverage.
The upgrade will likely lead to a tax increase of 1.5 mills or less, said Lee County administrator Sean Thompson.
Approval, design and installation of the new system could take up to two years, Thompson said.
Read more in Tuesday’s NEMS Daily Journal.