Commissioners Approve New Shawnee Co. Emergency Radios

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new, multi-million dollar emergency communications system is coming to Shawnee County.

Commissioners unanimously approved the $12.1 million purchase at their meeting Thursday. They'll buy it from Motorola.

The Shawnee County sheriff's office estimates up to a million dollars more will be needed to purchase land and construct buildings to house the new system, though County Counselor Rich Ekert says that figure it likely high.

Sheriff Herman Jones says emergency officials are trying to decide what traffic will be encrypted when the new radios go online and what to let the public listen to.

"There are some things that I don't have a problem with people being able to listen to but, then again, it always becomes a point of public safety and officer safety," Jones said. "Those are the considerations we will look at when we make the final decision on encryption."

Even with the price tag, the cost is still about $6 million less than was estimated when talks first began in February 2011.


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