The Cassville Police Department has received a $55,314.50 grant from the Missouri Department of Homeland Security for new radio equipment. The Cassville City Council approved the grant on Monday night.
The grant will provide funding for the purchase, programming and installation of eight mobile radios, two base control radios, 15 hand-held radios and eight repeaters.
"Missouri has a program where they use our frequencies, and in turn, they provide radios for our department, cars and officers," said Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr.
Cassville's radio frequencies will be used in the Missouri Statewide Interoperable Network (MOSWIN) communication system. The system enables cities to utilize several talk channels at local, state and national levels.
The MOSWIN system is designed to improve communication among emergency management agencies during disasters, such as the tornado that hit Joplin in May of 2011.
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly recently announced that the sheriff's department received a $153,380 grant from the Missouri Department of Homeland Security. The funds will provide radio equipment for county deputies and law enforcement personnel in Purdy, Washburn, Wheaton and Seligman.
Although the new system will improve communication for emergency service agencies, Cassville Police officers will not be able to communicate with city public works personnel through the new system.
"We are planning on running a two-radio system in the vehicles, and we will be able to communicate as we have in the past with public works," said Kammerlohr.
Some of the police department's current radios are in need of repair or replacement, which means the grant will provide an even greater financial benefit to the city, said Kammerlohr.
The funding is a 100 percent reimbursement grant. All emergency service agencies are required to transition to narrow banding by 2013. The new radio equipment will be compliant with the narrow banding requirement.
Although the city will not be required to provide match monies, it will be responsible for purchasing the equipment and submitting paperwork for reimbursement. Kammerlohr was told reimbursement should be made within 30 days.
During Monday night's meeting, Kammerlohr also reported that the city will need to upgrade its tornado sirens using narrow banding in order for the sirens to be activated by the Barry County E-911 Center. The upgrade will cost around $7,000.
The siren upgrade has not been budgeted, but Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer, reported that the city has a $21,000 continency that can be used to cover the extra expense.