New Kent lacks funds for communications upgrade - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

New Kent lacks funds for communications upgrade

New Kent County faces a lack of funding to support upgrading its transmitter tower. 

At 15 years, the tower has reached the end of its life. Chief Deputy Joe McLaughlin said a new emergency radio system is badly needed. "With repairs, we are currently now having to acquire used parts to make any improvements," he said.

The situation is so dire that in some instances, officers are unable to communicate with each other or the 9-1-1 center and sometimes have had to use their personal cell phones just to get through.

"We had a missing person not too long ago, and as we responded, we called for the aircraft from the Richmond Metro Aviation Center," McLaughlin said. "We could talk to them but we couldn't talk to our own people that were within sight."

Emergency officials petitioned the county board for assistance purchasing a new communications system. However, the county said the budget won't cover the estimated $8 million price tag. County supervisors are looking into other options for now.

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