County OKs plan for communications with city

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From staff reports

Future grant funding to enhance over-air communication between local law enforcement and other agencies will go through the Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission.

Warren County supervisors agreed Monday on an interlocal agreement with the City of Vicksburg for future funding under the Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant Program.

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The state commission was created to oversee the Mississippi Wireless Integrated Network in 2005 as part of a push to upgrade radio systems statewide following catastrophic events that revealed the need for better cross-agency communication, particularly the September 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina,

Locally, the move is largely procedural, as Vicksburg police and Warren County deputies have used 800 mhz radio systems for more than a decade. An interlocal agreement would ensure future grant funding will be from the same source as other counties who stand to benefit from the initiative, implemented by the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, under consultation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Eligibility will be determined later this year on a separate grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, which would net about $326,000 in new equipment for the police and sheriff’s department if approved.