Clinton County eyes MARCS security fix


Incident elsewhere exposes flaw

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



At the county commissioners office, from left Clinton County Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. and Colonel Brian L. Prickett bring to the commissioners’ attention an unforeseen and inescapable expenditure.

At the county commissioners office, from left Clinton County Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. and Colonel Brian L. Prickett bring to the commissioners’ attention an unforeseen and inescapable expenditure.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The countywide radio communications system for first responders will have to get an upgrade after an incident in northern Ohio exposed a security issue in the system that’s used around the state.

Clinton County subscribes to the digital radio system called MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communication System) for public safety personnel’s portable and vehicle radios.

If a locale’s upgrade is not performed by July 2023, all its public safety radios will go silent, Clinton County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy and Colonel Brian L. Prickett reported to county commissioners Monday.

To take care of it, there are different options with different prices — such as with or without a two-year maintenance agreement. At one juncture in the discussion Prickett said it will almost cost a combined $174,000 to do every public safety radio in Clinton County.

“This was one of those unforeseen things,” remarked Prickett.

The MARCS system in Clinton County is used by all first responders, and not simply law enforcement.

Including 17 school radios, there are a total of 744 public safety radios in the county. New radios fortunately do not have to be purchased.

In Clinton County, the MARCS digital system was activated in the summer of 2015, replacing an analog system. The new system here included new towers as well as new portable and vehicle radios for public safety personnel.

The MARCS system was one of the Board of Clinton County Commissioners’ major expenditures — $5.2 million — made with proceeds from the sale of Clinton Memorial Hospital.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

At the county commissioners office, from left Clinton County Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. and Colonel Brian L. Prickett bring to the commissioners’ attention an unforeseen and inescapable expenditure.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/08/web1_prickett_c.jpgAt the county commissioners office, from left Clinton County Sheriff Ralph D. Fizer Jr. and Colonel Brian L. Prickett bring to the commissioners’ attention an unforeseen and inescapable expenditure. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
Incident elsewhere exposes flaw

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com