Trumbull commissioners issuing $1.5 million in bonds for radio system

Staff report


Police and fire agencies in Trumbull County continue to make the switch to the digital Multi-Agency Radio Communication System, which officials say makes police and fire radio communications “crystal clear,” and more useful and more reliable.

The state-run MARCS system also improves the ability of police, fire and other emergency-services users from various agencies to communicate with each other, said Ernie Cook, Trumbull County 911 director. It means that local agencies also can communicate efficiently with state officials by radio in the event of a disaster, he said.

With the MARCS system, police departments can encrypt radio transmissions, preventing the public from picking them up on personal devices, such as a police scanner. Law enforcement believes hearing those transmissions is an officer-safety issue because it informs criminals of officer movements.

On Wednesday, the Trumbull County commissioners, who held their weekly meeting at the Trumbull County Fair, received certification from the Trumbull County Auditor’s Office to sell about $1.5 million in bonds for Trumbull County’s portion of the MARCS system.

The commissioners authorized purchasing the equipment that will be used by the county 911 center and sheriff’s office more than a year ago.

The sheriff’s office already made the switch to the MARCS system, and so have about half of the fire departments in the northern half of the county, Cook said. Warren will begin making the switch next week and is likely to be finished in about three weeks.

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