SCHENECTADY COUNTY — Schenectady County will use a new $669,427 state grant to improve its aged emergency radio communications system.
The County Legislature will vote Tuesday on accepting the grant from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, which is separate from a $6 million emergency radio system upgrade grant Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced in November. The latter grant is to go toward new communications towers and related equipment.
The smaller grant, which was approved by a County Legislature committee on Monday, will be used for upgrades to the radio system, said Kevin Spawn, director of the county's Unified Communications Center in Rotterdam.
County Legislator Rory Fluman, chairman of the Legislature's Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, said the county's emergency radio system is old, and the new equipment will help improve dispatch-to-vehicle communications in outlying, hilly areas like West Glenville and Duanesburg.
"All the municipalities have had poor radio communications for a long time," Fluman said.
The Legislature is also expected to approve an agreement to allow the sharing of computerized crime data files between the county, the city of Schenectady, the town of Colonie and the city of Albany. Under that agreement, all the municipalities will share common software in their police computer-aided dispatch and automated records management systems.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police calls computer-aided dispatch and automated records management systems "powerful tools that support the day-to-day operations of law enforcement agencies, enhance public safety, and support efficient use of resources and effective tactical deployment."
They are also used in crime analysis, community policing, and information sharing programs, the association said.