Monday, July 18, 2016

E-911 bd to take up radio contract

The Knox County E-911 Board of Directors is set Tuesday morning to vote in a special meeting on a multimillion-dollar contract with Motorola Solutions for a new radio system.

The meeting is set for 10 a.m. in the multi-purpose room at 605 Bernard Ave.

Board members have pondered for more than a year acquiring a new system, with an estimated cost of more than $8 million.

Harris Communications won a bid for the contract, but the board declined to sign off on it. Some members, led by Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones, said they preferred to stick with Motorola, with whom the communications district has worked for years.

Responders use the 25-year-old radio system to talk to each other. Knox County's is considered old, with parts often hard to replace.

In addition, the area E-911 Center is preparing to join the Tennessee Valley Regional Communications System. Joining the existing system would serve as an alternative to running its own system.

Jones argues joining the existing regional system will save taxpayers money.

The regional communications system, launched in 2010, is based in Chattanooga. It serves a number of emergency providers including the Blount County Sheriff's Office and those in North Georgia.

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