Scottsdale is moving forward with an extensive plan to improve its citywide police and fire radio dispatch systems.
The $25 million project is intended to allow officers to have better radio reception and the fire department to continue to be a part of a regional dispatch system, city officials say.
The project would require the installation of radio and microwave equipment at two new locations, 80-foot poles at three locations and the addition of equipment upgrades to at least seven existing locations across the city.
The current police 800 megahertz radio system in cruisers offers good coverage for officers, but those using portable radios sometimes have problems with reception around Scottsdale Fashion Square mall as well as parts of north Scottsdale, according to Brad Hartig, the city's chief information officer.
The first phase of the project, which includes $13.7 million in radio and microwave equipment upgrades, is scheduled for City Council consideration Oct. 21.
"The new system will make a significant difference in coverage," Hartig said. "The goal is to improve coverage throughout the city, but also with other agencies. There is no real simple fix, other than to fix the infrastructure. Other cities such as Tempe and Peoria are going through the same thing with their systems."
Scottsdale police will continue to have its own dispatch system. And the Scottsdale Fire Department, which contracts with Phoenix to provide radio dispatch service, will remain part of a 20-member emergency response system.
The project is expected to take two years to complete, with a start date of this spring, Hartig said.
The two new radio tower sites will be at Desert Mountain High School, 124th Street and Via Linda, and Miramonte development, 124th Street south of Alameda Road.