Commission Approves 911 Equipment Contract | News, Sports, Jobs
WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Commission has approved a $3,050,000 contract with Motorola Solutions to provide equipment for the county’s emergency response center and first responders.
District commissioners said the contract approved on Tuesday is for 10 years and includes an upgrade in five years, but the commission can opt out at any time while retaining ownership of the equipment, including hardware and software for computerized dispatching, Telephones and include walkie-talkies for first responders.
Commission President AJ Thomas said the board would pay $1.2 million for the first year.
County Commissioner Tim Ennis noted that the company originally submitted a $3.4 million bid, but individuals working on behalf of the board were able to negotiate a lower price.
County Commissioner Stacey Wise noted that plans to build a modern 911 center were underway five years ago.
She said people involved in the planning and discussions with Motorola included Christina White, the director of the 911 center; Bob Fowler, former chief of emergency management; Carl A. Frankovitch, External Counsel to the Commission; and Global Science Technology, an independent consultant hired to oversee the project.
It is planned to create a new emergency call center in the former judge chambers for the district courtroom within 18 months.
Those courthouses and others are scheduled to move to a judiciary annex later this year.
Regarding Tuesday’s development, White said: “I’m just excited. It’s like it’s finally Christmas. It will make their (911 dispatchers) job more efficient.”
After the meeting, White said getting the local community involved was key to the contractor’s willingness to reduce its costs.
In recent weeks, both Wellsburg Council and Bethany Council agreed to contribute $54,101 upfront and a $4,000 annual maintenance fee to equip their police departments with equipment.
The Follansbee Council is expected to consider providing approximately $89,000 at its next meeting.
White said the numbers are based on the size of the community police departments whose members receive training on the equipment under the contract.
In presentations to city officials, she noted that the new equipment will allow officers to file incident reports and access criminal databases from their vehicles so they can, for example, determine if a person in a stopped vehicle has a criminal record and was carrying weapons.
White said Weirton’s first responders operate on a different network, but a holdover from the old system is used to maintain communications with them and local volunteer fire departments, who likely lack the resources to participate.
In other stores:
– Thomas said commissioners will follow their regular meetings on Tuesday at 10:30am with special meetings at 11:30am to plan the fiscal 2022 budget through to its conclusion.
– The commission is looking for a volunteer for the board of directors of the district museum. Expressions of interest should be sent to the office of County Clerk Kim Barbetta.
(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])