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County finalizes plans to update sheriff’s radios

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The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department will replace the mobile 800 megahertz radios in its fleet for $6,500 less than expected.

The two-way radios purchased during former sheriff Kenny Whipker’s first term are now five to six years past their normal life span. Next year’s general fund budget contains $165,000 to buy 52 radios.

However, Motorola offered to replace the communications equipment for $158,457 if the purchase is made this year.

While the funds won’t be available until 2013, the county and Motorola have reached an agreement that still gives taxpayers the savings.

Under the arrangement approved Monday by the Bartholomew County Commissioners, the savings would be provided in exchange for a formal letter of intent to buy.

Besides the radios, the Sheriff’s Department also will replace seven patrol cars next year with new Dodge Chargers. Deputy Sheriff Maj. Todd Noblitt said the Chargers use considerably less gasoline than the older Crown Victorias, which are no longer being produced.

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