Radios need two more fixes


WILMINGTON — A new emergency radio system generally has received favorable reviews, with Sabina and Chester Township the exceptions, according to a Wednesday update to Clinton County Commissioners.

A new digital system was activated in Clinton County this summer, involving two new towers — one in Clarksville and the other north of New Vienna — plus new portable and vehicle radios for public safety personnel.

Col. Brian Prickett of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office told commissioners that leaders of the project and telecommunications company Motorola have been working continuously to address the problems in Sabina and Chester Township.

Progress has been made for Chester Township, said Prickett, where he believes the issues are getting resolved.

“It’s just a matter of how quickly we make the radios roam and to what towers they roam to,” he said.

Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley said he has received a few phone calls from Sabina personnel who were concerned that the signal “has been intermittent.”

Prickett stated the village of Sabina sits in a low spot where coverage under the old system had been an issue, too.

Haley asked whether there is a time line to fix issues. Prickett replied that is a tough question to answer because people “don’t want to keep throwing Band-Aids on something that may not work.”

Motorola has been great to work with on the project, said Prickett.

The colonel said there were “far more problems” countywide under the old emergency communications system — an analog system — than with the new Multi-Agency Radio Communications (MARCS) system.

Among local fire and EMS departments, Clinton-Warren Fire District and EMS Chief Bob Wysong and Clinton-Highland Fire District and EMS Chief John Johnson are especially pleased with the improvement, said Prickett.

Prickett agreed with Haley that coming up with effective solutions to the issues involves a process of elimination.

In other news Wednesday with Clinton County Commissioners:

Clinton County Job & Family Services Director Kathi Spirk proposed a table of starting pay rates to help meet what she described as staffing challenges in the Child Protection Unit. The pay range would help attract qualified individuals to be caseworkers and to retain current employees, said Spirk.

The proposal does not reflect an across-the-board increase, but does specify starting pay rates, she said.

The minimum starting pay would be $12.64 an hour for a clerical worker; $13.54 an hour for a case aide; and $15.18 per hour for a child welfare caseworker and coordinator.

Commissioners did not take action Wednesday and said they will discuss the proposal more.

A private, executive session was held on the matter of security at the courthouse and of other county-owned buildings.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

Col. Brian Prickett of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office discusses the coverage provided by a new emergency radio system in the county. Brian Prickett of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office discusses the coverage provided by a new emergency radio system in the county.

By Gary Huffenberger

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