Local News

Wake commissioners eye upgrades to 911, radio systems

Posted March 11, 2013 3:55 p.m. EDT
Updated March 11, 2013 6:08 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County Board of Commissioners is considering an overhaul to its 911, radio and emergency dispatch systems, which could cost taxpayers more than $30 million.

Dispatchers in Wake County handle about 50,000 calls per day on the current system, which is very reliable, but, as of 2016, will be out-of-date, county leaders said Monday. 

"What we're hearing today is the need to have upgrades and have a new system," said county commission Chairman Joe Bryan. "We're getting out ahead of that."

The Motorola hardware used in the current system is no longer manufactured, and additional upgrades – including adding tower sites or dispatch consoles – are no longer available. Technical support also expires for the products on Dec. 31, 2015.

In 2008, the county completed a comprehensive review of its radio system, which identified the need for an overhaul. In 2010, they began evaluating different options.

On Monday, 911 system leaders presented commissioners with details on four possible plans:

  • continuing a partnership with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, which carries a price tag of about $31 million;
  • combining resources with the Town of Cary for about $30.9 million;
  • creating a completely independent system for about $32.2 million;
  • or creating an independent system that coincides with the opening of a new public works operations center in north Raleigh.