Council OKs upgraded radio buy after lower prices found

Both Graham Police and Fire departments will move to digital radio units following the approval of a contract by the Graham City Council Thursday, July 27.

The city is required to be P25 compliant by 2025, which means switching to digital radio systems for the fire and police departments in Graham. The quote for the radios came from Superior Radio Communication LLC, who are a new company in Arizona, City Manager Brandon Anderson said.

“Of course, the company is pretty new and so we will be taking a little bit of a leap of faith there, but we haven’t heard any bad response back from them and I think would be a good step for us to go ahead and get that transition made and save roughly $250,000 and get us compliant,” he said. “Also, another thing that Chief David mentioned is that a lot of the grants that we fill out for this time (ask if you) are you P25 compliant, so continuing to request for funding for new radios and other equipment is somewhat dependent on our situation here.”

The city received the quote from Superior July 19, which includes replacements for all the radio units and both stationary and mobile units for the departments. The quote was for 50 used Motorola XTS5000 VHF models which all include a one-year warranty, and 60 used mobile XTL2500 VHF models with a six-month warranty.

“It is the same warranty as the newer units so it is a really good deal on that and we are making a transition. It is not like we are just replacing radios with a newer model, our whole infrastructure is being replaced from analog to digital,” Graham Police Chief Tony Widner said.

Last year the city of Graham made an application for a grant to fund new radio systems but were not able to achieve one in time for the city’s funding cycle. The city requested 10 radios on their grant application and the request at that time was $44,000 for 10 new radios, Widner said.

“There are a lot of agencies in the same predicament we are where the cost of upgrading from analogue to digital is more than their infrastructure can afford,” Widner said.

The quote in total is $56,215, which covers all of the vehicles, staff and backup units and is something the city intended to look at in their first budget meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 1.

After only a small amount of discussion among council members, they approved a motion to let the city go through with the contract if the city finds no problems with the company, but setting funding aside for new units was already a plan for Graham.

“We checked with the Better Business Bureau and we are checking with some other cities that are in talks with them, but I will be honest with you, you know, we are doing budget next week and I was going to say we need to put about $50,000 so we can get ready,” Mayor Jack Graham said.

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