Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

$60 million radio system for emergency responders on county agenda

The Pima County Board of Supervisors is expected Tuesday to vote on a $60.8 million contract for a radio system and infrastructure that would enable all regional law enforcement, fire, and other emergency responders to communicate during emergencies.

The supervisors will discuss awarding the contract to low-bidder Motorola Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill. The county sent requests for proposals to 38 vendors. Five were deemed qualified.

The system would enable 32 regional agencies to communicate with each other. Federal agencies also would be able to tap into the system, John Moffatt, director of the Pima County Office of Strategic Technical Planning, said Friday.

The system would operate under the aegis of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.

Moffatt said planning for the system began shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, based on reports that law enforcement and emergency responders in New York City could not communicate with each other because of incompatible radio systems.

“That’s what caused the bond issue to be put on the ballot in 2004,” Moffatt said.

Voters approved $40 million for the system.

The program was broadened later to include area public works agencies, adding another $20 million to the cost. Federal grants would pick up some of the additional costs, Moffatt said.


If you go

• What: Board of Supervisors meeting

• When: 9 a.m. Tuesday

• Where: Pima County Administration Building, 130 W.Congress St.

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