Money Needed to Update Officers Communication

Potter County Sheriff Mike Shumate
Potter County Sheriff Mike Shumate

Nearly half a million dollars is needed to fix area police communication. And when push comes to shove... You may be footing the bill.

By 2011 the agencies will have to be able to seamlessly communicate through one system. Meaning each agency can talk to the others. It sounds good... But will be expensive.

Potter Co. Sheriff Mike Shumate says, "Any major event that occurs where we have to communicate with a lot of agencies this will help us out. So we are hoping we will get into the pot this time and get some money."

That pot is the Law Enforcement Technology fund, run by the Community Oriented Policy Services under the Department of Justice.

This year they will be dividing more than 200 million dollars among agencies nationwide. But it's not easy to get their money.

Each agency has to get an invite from the department to send in a proposal on what they would do with the money... Accounting for everything they would buy.

"We staring at about a 400 thousand dollar outlay, would be absolutely the best for us. We would be able to relocate our area into a safer more secure area and improve our quality of transmission."

To get that 400 thousand... One of the requirements of the fund is that your county or city match 10 percent of what you are asking for.

Meaning the county would have to have a signed commitment from the a county judge.

They won't know till March if they are even invited to pitch their budget ideas. But regardless of the money... The communication system will have to change. Meaning if they don't get the money from the Department of Justice... It will have to come from somewhere.