Central Dispatch begins equipment upgrade

On the heels of last month’s voter-approved request, St. Joseph County Central Dispatch is ready to proceed with its equipment upgrade.

During last week’s county commission meeting, agency director Dennis Brandenburg was granted approval to enter into a contract with Motorola for nearly $3.5 million. The lease-to-own plan will allow central dispatch to replace all communication equipment at its Centreville headquarters, and all mobile and portable radios for every police and fire agency in the county.

The county qualified for the state-contract rate, Brandenburg noted.

He said the county was fortunate to have been given a price break in two areas, resulting in nearly $900,000 in savings.

Brandenburg noted the first payment to Motorola isn’t due until the end of 2019. The undertaking is the most comprehensive project done by central dispatch since its founding in the early 1990s, he said.

Thanks to the May 8 vote, central dispatch will also erect a communication tower in Sherman Township and join the Michigan Public Safety Communication System.

As a formality, county commissioners last week approved central dispatch’s new millage rate of 1 mill, an increase of one-quarter of a mill.

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