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Posted on: June 26, 2020

Newton County approves new emergency radio system

Image of Emergency RAdio

The Newton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Motorola for a new emergency radio system that will improve coverage throughout the County during a Special Called Meeting June 18.

The new system was one of the projects on the 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax list and will provide more robust coverage throughout the County for first responders and public safety.

List of 2017 SPLOST projects

With the new system coverage will extend to areas that were lacking under the current Open Sky system, including areas in the unincorporated county, the FFA Camp and buildings such as the Porterdale Mill.

“As Sheriff I can tell you for many years we have lived with the radio system. One of the things that worried me greatly is if there is a deputy on the road and we are having to call them on the cell phone to ensure his or her safety,” Sheriff Ezell Brown said. “That has bothered me for years and years. I think it’s time now that the rubber meets the road.”      

The new P25 system will provide 98 percent greater coverage by portable radio outdoors, 97 percent of greater coverage in concrete buildings, 97 percent greater coverage in Mansfield and Newborn and 97 percent greater coverage in Covington, Porterdale and Oxford. Motorola will also provide a 15-year support plan and transition to other jurisdictions that utilize the P25 system.

Newton County elected for the Motorola system after an RFP was issued in December of 2019.

The total cost will be $19,553,970 with $3,666,158 coming from 2017 SPLOST allocation, an anticipated $7,876,798 in 2017 SPLOST collections that exceed projections, $2,422,594 from sales tax collections that exceed budget projection, $874,421 from participating municipalities and $4,993,999 from budgets throughout the next 15 years.

The project is expected to be completed by February 2022.

“One Newton is what it is all about, so it’s one radio system that’s for our public safety, fire, ems, police and everybody,” said Jason Cripps member of Newton County 911 Board of Governors and Porterdale Police Chief.


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