A regional emergency dispatch center serving five South Bay cities will get improved computer equipment worth nearly $1 million.
Three of the cities--El Segundo, Manhattan Beach and Gardena--have given approval for the upgrading of the South Bay Regional Public Communications Authority. Hawthorne and Hermosa Beach are expected to approve the request by May 1.
The $950,000 in new equipment includes a new computer ($400,000), mobile computer terminals for fire trucks ($110,000), and various computer programs. The new equipment will allow the agency to expand services, according to Robert Benson, executive director.
The five cities will share the costs and pay for it over seven years.
The agency has provided police, fire and paramedic dispatching service since 1977. It began serving seven cities, but Palos Verdes Estates pulled out in 1981, citing trouble in receiving radio signals because of the Peninsula's hilly terrain, and Redondo Beach dropped out in 1983, deciding to install its own dispatch center.