Council approves more towers for emergency radio system

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Council approved spending $11 million to upgrade its maligned emergency radio system. Council passed the upgrade Tuesday in a vote of 6 to 0.

Several agencies say since the digital system went on line in 2007 their dispatchers have had a difficult time communicating with personnel in the field and vice versa.

"The radio system has been very disappointing to us," said Isle of Palms Mayor Dick Cronin. "Not being able to communicate with your personnel is high risk and we can't afford that high risk."

Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor called it a case of growing pains.

"I can honestly say nobody's life is in danger," Pryor said. "We thought things would work, but obviously changing from analog to digital we incurred a few bumps in the road and we're ironing out those kinks right now, and we're gonna make it work."

County officials say there are three phases to fixing the problem. The first two phases would add five new transmission towers for a total of 13. The third phase would add three more towers for a total of 16.

Once the contract is signed, it would take 18 months to install the first five towers and software, according to officials.

Related Content: Bad emergency transmission examples (Source: Isle of Palms dispatch)

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