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Kent Co. Dispatch Authority launches $25M new radio system

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Posted at 10:29 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 10:29:02-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County Dispatch Authority is launching a new, $25 million digital radio system for police, fire and emergency response personnel that they say will improve communications and enhance public safety.

The 800-megahertz radio system replaces an outdated analog system and joins the statewide radio system operated by the Michigan Public Safety Communication System, a news release said Tuesday.

It’ll allow coordination between local, state and federal agencies, and better communication between agencies could save lives, property and time – especially in large-scale incidents.

Funded by a 2016 voter-approved surcharge, the countywide system is comprised of six new towers, 12 transmission sites and two 9-1-1 dispatch centers in Kent County and Grand Rapids.

“This new system significantly improves radio coverage and communications for our first responders, which are essential to the safety of our community as well as to the safety of personnel responding to critical incidents,” said Curtis Holt, KCDA chair and Wyoming’s city manager. “This project is an excellent example of intergovernmental collaboration that benefits the residents we serve and our public safety personnel.”

The Grand Rapids police and fire departments and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office will begin transitioning to the new system early next year.