Funding requests for Central Dispatch approved

A pair of funding requests from the St. Joseph County E-911 Central Dispatch was approved by county commissioners last week.
The agency was allotted $4,128 for security cameras to replace black-and-white cameras that are 15 years old, and $74,200 was granted to repair and make improvements to the Centreville communications tower.
County administrator Pat Yoder said the upgrade for security cameras was overdue, as the pair of current devices is original and their picture quality is poor. Yoder said the agency would like to upgrade to cameras that record in color.
Dennis Brandenburg, central dispatch director, said the cameras and monitors have run nonstop since they were installed, and the quality of the video replay has gradually deteriorated drastically. The compromised quality makes it difficult to see who is at either door, Brandenburg said.
Tristate Security of Sturgis submitted the $4,128 bid – the lowest of three bids – which includes four cameras, the monitor, all cabling, hardware and installation.
In a separate matter, the commission was advised by Brandenburg that radio interference and transmission problems have been experienced by dispatchers. The source of the problems has been traced to lightning, which has struck the Centreville tower a least five times in recent years, he said.
Improvements and repairs to the tower, as well as corrections to the device installed on the base of the tower, will be performed by Grand Rapids-based Windemuller.

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