November 21, 2018

Sheriff’s department receiving first new radios in more than a decade

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MIO — The Oscoda County Sheriff Department will be acquiring six brand-new radios to add to its inventory by the end of the summer.

The department received permission from the county board of commissioners at its last meeting. The bidding process for the radios ended with two prospective companies to proceed with. The bid accepted was roughly $11,500 from Grand Traverse Mobile. That bid was nearly $1,000 lower than the other.

Sheriff Kevin Grace said this will have virtually no impact on the department’s budget, as he received a grant from Region 3 of the Homeland Security Law Enforcement Division. He said the grant will reimburse the department up to $12,000 for the radios. He said this has been in the works for nearly two years, but the grant was approved six months ago.

Grace said he wants residents to know he’s doing all he can to supplement the department’s budget.

“When it comes time for any new equipment we always try to find supplemental funding,” he said. “I am not just willy-nilly spending this money on anything. … I stretch those dollars as far as I can.”

Grace said the current radios the department is using are between 10 and 15 years old. He said many of them are in serious need of repair, but due to their age those repairs would be nearly as costly as purchasing new radios.

The department will be receiving six Kenwood 800 radios, with additional attachments and accessories. He said these will become the main radios for the department, while the old ones will be kept for backup.

Grace said the new radios aren’t a big change from what the department has used in the past, and alluded to the upgrade being like purchasing a new TV after using the same one for a decade. While the radios are used for the same purpose, they have plenty of quality-of-life improvements and will function far better than the current radios did even when they were brand-new.

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