Columbus prepares to buy new radios for police department

COLUMBUS, MISS. (WCBI) – Columbus police will soon be aligning themselves with other law enforcement and emergency response units across the state.

The city is preparing to purchase new radios for the police department.

The new handheld and in-vehicle devices will be able to communicate with the state-run MS-WIN radio network.

This network was put in place after Hurricane Katrina to standardize emergency communications across the state during natural disasters and other emergencies.

City leaders in Columbus have wanted to update police radios for several years, but money has been an issue.

But after unrelated discussions with the Mississippi Wireless Communications Commission, it was discovered that there was about $150,000 set aside for the city in a Mississippi Public Safety Fund.

“I mean, it’s disappointing in one way that we didn’t know it, but we’re also thankful that it’s there and it’s not spent. Because there are several different areas that we can spend the money on. Radios are one of them; one of the things we’re going to have to do is when we make the request for the money, it goes through an approval process,” Mayor Keith Gaskin said.

The city wants to buy 45 hand-held radios, 30 car units and a new 911 base station.

The new system will also allow them to communicate more directly with the fire department and the sheriff’s office.

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