County approves communication update

Agencies are continuing to improve public safety two-way communication in Lassen County.

According to Lassen County Sheriff, Dean Growdon, some dated devices and issues with frequencies have reduced the efficiency of two-way communication systems, and to continue to improve public safety’s communicative abilities, he posed the purchase of some updated equipment to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.

The board unanimously approved the purchases.

During the Feb. 26 meeting, Growdon presented the supervisors with a plan to purchase eight handheld radios and accessories, for about $20,300 from the State Homeland Security Grant program.

The sheriff noted the purchase would help outfit the Susanville Police Department officers with more capable handheld radios, replacing ones that are dated.

Additionally, Growdon noted changes associated with the narrow-banding of public safety frequencies reduced the efficiency of the county’s communications systems, causing deputies issues communicating with the dispatch center.

In order to make the improvements, Growdon said the sheriff’s office has been working with consultants and other agencies to develop an improvement plan, which includes a pilot program where three dual band handheld radios and vehicular repeaters are purchased, for about $20,500.

Growdon said the purchase would allow deputies to communicate directly with repeaters or other personnel on standard VHF frequencies, and through their mobile radio on UHF frequencies.

He said the department has the required FCC licenses already, which helpes make the pilot project more accessible.

“We think that in the end, it’ll be a good solution for, not just the sheriff’s office, but the police department, also,” said Grwodon.

Funding for the dual band radio project will comes from Title III funds.

“Even though this is costly, we think it’s going to be a real long-term solution. So we’re going to pilot it with three sheriff’s office vehicles,” said Growdon.

He continued adding if the pilot works, he hopes to increase the units annually through Title III and Homeland Security funds.

The board unanimously approved the purchase of the public safety equipment.