Stark County Sheriff: Sheriff: Department needs $150K to replace radiosBecause of an almost 10-year-old purchase mistake, Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said he needs $150,000 to replace obsolete portable and vehicle radios for his employees.
Because of an almost 10-year-old purchase mistake, Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said he needs $150,000 to replace obsolete portable and vehicle radios for his employees.
Tuhy said that “in 2003 or 2004,” the sheriff’s department purchased radios with particular encryption capabilities, and he now needs to purchase new inventory because Motorola, his main service provider, will not upgrade the old units.
“We didn’t get what we were supposed to,” Tuhy said during Tuesday’s Stark County Commission meeting at the courthouse in Dickinson. “We’re looking at a lot of bucks.”
Commissioners are concerned the purchase will lighten their pocketbook significantly.
“That’s a budget-buster,” Chairman Ken Zander said.
Other commissioners also dislike the idea of reaching into the “general fund” to buy radios.
“We’d probably be $100,000 in the red,” Commissioner Jay Elkin said.
Tuhy assured the commissioners he is not the only one facing financial troubles regarding old radios.
“It’s not only us,” he said. “I think the police department is in the same shape.”
Dickinson Police Department Capt. Joe Cianni said he is aware that police radios need to be updated, and he has made arrangements to do so without any problems.
“As far as our radios, we’re good to go,” Cianni said.
Cianni also said the DPD and sheriff’s department use similar equipment, but Tuhy thinks the switch is anything but a cake walk.
“It’s a nightmare, the radio systems,” he said.
The sheriff’s department wants $85,000 to replace vehicle radios and $68,000 to replace portable radios.
The average lifespan of a radio is “seven to 10 years,” Tuhy said, adding that he needs radios by May.
“I imagine these ain’t going to last forever neither,” Commissioner Russ Hoff said.
No official decisions were made regarding Tuhy’s request. County Auditor Kay Haag said commissioners want to give the request more thought.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any decision made right at this moment,” Haag said. “That’s a lot of money.”