Brandon: Grant will pay for police radios
By Bruce Edwards
STAFF WRITER | May 05,2014
BRANDON — A grant to buy radio equipment couldn’t have come at a better time for the town, which is saddled with a bare bones budget.
The $48,000 Department of Homeland Security grant will pay for radios and a repeater that meet the latest standards for use on a digital platform (P25), said Police Chief Christopher Brickell.
“We currently have dual band radios in our cruiser(s) that are approximately 10 years old and are not P25 compliant,” Brickell said in an email. “Our repeater, which is essential to our communications with dispatch in Rutland, is well beyond its life cycle.”
Brickell said the department had to repair the repeater two years ago with used parts. He said the equipment is no longer supported by the manufacturer.
“Without a repeater, we would be unable to communicate with our dispatch center,” he said. “There was no documentation of when the repeater was even purchased, but it has been in place well before I came to Brandon in 2004.”
The grant is timely given the town’s budget issues. Residents will vote Tuesday for the second time on a municipal budget. The first spending plan was soundly defeated on Town Meeting Day.
Without the grant, the repeater would have cost taxpayers $14,000 and the replacement radios in the cruisers, $34,860, Brickell said.
He said the grant is 100 percent federally funded with no local match.