MetroParks to share radio system

By Ashley Luthern


The Mill Creek MetroParks police department has signed on to use a Motorola radio system purchased by Austintown and Boardman townships.

The MetroParks will pay about $200,000 from a capital-improvement fund for the project, said police chief Jim Willock.

“Our radio system is pretty old, and we were looking to spend significantly more than that,” he said. “... The nice thing is [the park] goes through Boardman, we’re in the city, and with the system, we would be able to communicate with entities relatively seamlessly.”

Frank Yacucci, Austintown’s dispatcher supervisor, said the $1.5 million radio system is being built out-of-state, and it will be at least six months before everything is “up and working” in the townships.

“We built the system so eventually if anybody else wanted to come onto the system, they can. ... Motorola is providing the hardware, and a local radio company is doing the install,” he said.

Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree said a council of governments for the radio system will form in coming months. Boardman’s $750,000 share of the project was paid for by federal grants and the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, Loree said.

Austintown will contribute about $700,000 funded through a loan agreement.

The project began last December as both townships searched for a way to update their equipment. The federal government has mandated all public-safety and industrial/business land-mobile-radio systems go to narrowband — switching from analog systems to digital — by Jan. 1, 2013.

Each township will have three radio-dispatch consoles and one backup, instead of the two consoles and one backup that they have now.

“It’s very easy to expand,” Loree said.

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