Deschutes County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to authorize a $115,758 contract for a consultant to design the next generation emergency communications network for Central Oregon public safety agencies.
Sparling, a Lynwood, Wash., consulting and electrical engineering firm, will help create a digital regional communications system to replace and consolidate the separate analog systems currently in place.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Capt. Erik Utter, who serves on the Public Safety Agency Emergency Communications Work Group, said it’s challenging to communicate with different agencies because of the multiple outdated systems. He told commissioners Wednesday that Sparling will design different models so the appropriate one, based on need and cost, can be selected. He said the firm estimates project completion by August.
Commissioner Tammy Baney said she’s looking forward to the outcome of the new system, but not the price of the project, which could cost millions.