By Brady Bauman
Manhattan Mercury – November 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014
Riley County will have a new 911 system by year’s end, after commissioners approved an emergency upgrade at a Thursday meeting.
The commission, based on guidance from Emergency Management Director Pat Collins, decided to go with Topeka Mobile Comm/Commenco, which quoted a system upgrade that would cost $423,073.58.
The county’s Emergency 911 Fund had $748,786 at the end of October. Revenue for the fund comes from a monthly 53-cent fee on phone lines and cell phone.
In Collins’ outline for the proposal, he told commissioners the current system is “fragile and limping,” and that the Riley County 911 executive committee, composed of himself, and the leaders of the Riley County Police Department, Manhattan Fire Department, EMS and K-State police, recommended an emergency replacement of the system by the end of the year.
“We can’t wait any longer,” Commissioner Dave Lewis said before making the motion for approval.
Collins said the system has encountered another round of “complicated problems” that couldn’t be resolved with online assistance from the manufacturer.
The current system was purchased in 2006 with a five-year life expectancy. The original cost, including five positions at RCPD and two positions at KSUPD, was $419,340.00 and the annual maintenance is $8,100 per year.
Collins was critical of the customer service AT&T, which provides support for the system, and told commissioners the county’s 911 fund has the means to purchase the new system.
Currently the Riley County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) fields about 2,900 emergency 911 calls per month and provides a consolidated dispatch for all the public safety agencies. The KSU PSAP fields about 140 emergency 911 calls generated on campus, dispatches KSU law enforcement and receives or transfers 911 wireless calls to and from the Riley County PSAP.