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St. Joseph County Police to purchase new radios for officers

NOW: St. Joseph County Police to purchase new radios for officers

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Officers with the St. Joseph County Police Department will soon be equipped with new radios. 

Earlier this month, the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of new mobile and portable radios for officers. 

St. Joseph County Sheriff Bill Redman says radios are the most important piece of equipment on an officer’s belt. A radio dispatches officers to calls and helps the department communicate with each other while on patrol. 

“These radios are extremely crucial to our day-to-day activity as police officers and first responders in St. Joe County because this is the way we obviously communicate, this is the way we get dispatched to calls, so it’s extremely important that we have the most updated technology so that way our officers are safe thus makes our community much safer,” said Redman. 

According to Redman, the existing radios used by SJCPD were manufactured by Motorola between 2000-01 with an estimated life span of 6-10 years. 

The department purchased the radios between 2001-12, however, Motorola will no longer service, repair, or update the radios starting on Dec. 31, 2019. 

Redman lists that as the reason why the department needed to negotiate a new contract. 

“I think this helps boost morale with our officers,” said Redman. 

SJCPD plans to buy 214 new portable Motorola APX6000 radios for its road patrol officers, 100 APX4500 mobile radios for installation in its patrol cars, and 11 APX8000 portable radios for its officers working in the Juvenile Justice Center. 

The new equipment costs $1.7 million. They should last the department for the next 6-10 years. 

Redman says the radios ensure the safety of officers and the people they serve. 

“The technology is so crucial for our officers and for the safety of our community that we have to continue to do whatever we can to make sure that we provide this type of equipment to our officers that serve,” said Redman. 

The radios come equipped with Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities, can track officers when they leave their car, and includes an alert that notifies dispatchers an officer may be in trouble if a radio is on its side for an extended amount of time. 

This is the second major purchase Redman has made this year. In March, the department bought new guns

“My number one goal as sheriff, when it comes to our officers, is to make sure that we update our equipment and provide the equipment that’s necessary for our officers to do the day-to-day job that they are required to do,” said Redman. “Without that, it’s difficult to do those jobs and so we want to make sure that they have the best radios, the best handguns, the best equipment that’s available on the market so that way they are safe ultimately making it safer for our citizens of St. Joseph County.”

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