COOS COUNTY — The Coos County Sheriff’s Office completed an inspection of its communication towers Thursday as part of its ongoing efforts to upgrade its department’s outdated technology.
In an overhaul of its entire dispatch center, which has received new radios, consoles and computer servers, the Sheriff’s Office is now looking toward improving its 911 communication towers and securing the funds to do so.
“We went to seven different towers around the county,” said Cpt. Gabriel Fabrizio with the Coos County Sheriff’s Office. “We checked the towers to see what kind of loads they can carry and what kind of new equipment needs to go on.”
Codan Communications and Microwave Networks were on hand during the inspections and will produce a final action plan and pricing estimate of what it will take to upgrade the towers, according to Fabrizio.
“It’s a bit early to tell how much it will cost,” he said. “We are working with the county and looking for grant opportunities to fund the upgrades.”
Although not fully certain, the upgrades are estimated to be about $3 million, said Fabrizio. The Sheriff’s Office chose not to include the costs to its proposed 2019-2020 budget as it would be too much of a financial burden for the county to take on, he added.
As a way to cut down on costs, the department has consulted with outside agencies including the Coos Forest Protective Association and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to cross load its equipment and share towers. In total, the department is looking at nine sites.
“We are going to continue looking for grants,” said Fabrizio. “Once we secure funding, we are going to phase in the towers so that we have constant communication which could take about two years.”