The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a lease agreement that will provide 150 police radios to replace the VHF radios now in use. Part of the current capital improvement budget, the radios were estimated to cost $927,000 and be installed in phases over the next 12 monthsw.
But by entering a lease-to-buy agreement offered by the manufacturer, Motorola, the city cut the cost by about $100,000. The discount allowed the department to customize the radios for the SWAT team, as well as provide more wireless headsets for officers without exceeding the budget. The agreement also means the department will receive all the radios at once, by Sept. 15. Installation will cost about $30,000 and be performed by outside vendors, according to city staff.
The new sets are compliant with the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority (EBRCSA) Radio Project currently being implemented by Alameda and Contra Costa counties and local emergency response agencies. Brentwood Police Chief Mark Evenson said the project is a direct result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Response to those catastrophes was hampered by agencies’ inability to communicate with each other due to incompatible radio systems.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to upgrade our communications,” Evenson said Tuesday. “It basically gives us the most sophisticated portable radio system in the world.”
EBRCSA was officially created on Sept. 11, 2007. There are currently 38 member agencies consisting of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, 30 cities, four special districts, the University of California and the California Department of Transportation. Together, the agencies serve a population of more than 2.5 million. The authority’s board of directors is made up of 23 representatives consisting of elected officials, police chiefs, fire chiefs and city managers, who will be responsible for the overall development, operation and funding of the system.
The entire EBRCSA system is expected to cost about $70 million. About $40 million has already been secured through Homeland Security grants, funds from the Bay Area Security Initiative (UASI), State Homeland Security (SHSGP) grants and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant funds.