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PLACENTIA | Community News Focus

City Council Agrees to Join Safety Network

February 22, 1996|ALAN EYERLY

The city has agreed to participate in a countywide emergency communications system that officials said would greatly improve the cooperation among municipalities in disasters.

Placentia will pay $1.1 million to place its police and public works departments on the 800-megahertz radio system, which has a total cost countywide of $82 million.

The City Council has not yet determined how it will finance the city's share of the cost. One proposal is for Placentia to join with other cities in a bond issue. Under that plan, Placentia would face an annual debt service of $160,000 over a 10-year period.

Public Works Director Christopher Becker said Wednesday that the new radio system is long overdue.

"It needs to happen," said Becker, noting that the current public safety communications system is 23 years old and is often overloaded. There are also numerous "dead spots" in radio coverage, he said.

The current system is designed to handle only 2,000 radios, Becker said, but the network is attempting to accommodate 6,000 radios. When the new system is operational within two years, it will support more than 10,000 radios.

Becker said the new network will be especially valuable during large-scale emergencies, such as earthquakes and floods.

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