Sheriff’s radio system upgrade progressing

MAYVILLE – June 2015 is the target timeframe for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office to begin using a new radio communication system.

At the Public Safety Committee meeting, county legislators heard from Motorola representative Matthew Flagg, project manager, and Matt Trusso, communications project coordinator with the Sheriff’s Office, about progress of the new system.

“The biggest holdup right now is Canada,” Trusso said. “We’re trying to get frequencies, and they are hard to get in this area. We have to get the frequencies approved in the U.S., and then we have to get approval from Canada.”

A legally binding treaty is the reason for the approval from Canada.

Flagg said the Federal Communications Commission has become involved in order to speed up the process.

“Once these frequencies are resolved, then we can go to the next step,” Flagg said.

Motorola was awarded the contract last year to upgrade the communication system after a $6 million grant from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services was awarded.

In another round of budget talks, Julius Leone, director of emergency services, presented the committee with a slideshow of the department’s responsibilities and changes to the program for 2015.

He said the upcoming budget will include a funding request to conduct a comprehensive study, which would cost $82,000.

“What we’re asking for in the 2015 budget is funding to look at how we respond to EMS calls,” Leone said, adding that the number of emergency medical technicians has declined drastically.

Jamestown Community College canceled its 160-hour course this year due to a lack of enrollment.

“It’s everybody’s problem,” he said.

Public Defender Ned Barone also attended the meeting to talk about the upcoming budget season.

He said $459,737 in grants from the Office of Indigent Legal Services will be used to enhance indigent representation, increase attorney salaries, provide funding for an additional office investigator and overtime investigative costs.

Additional revenue will be generated through the Division of Criminal Justice Services in the amount of $24,000 for reimbursement of costs incurred through representation of state parole violators.

Lastly, it was announced that the District Attorney’s office was awarded $376,309 from the state Office of Victim Services to be used for the next three years in providing assistance to victims of crime in Chautauqua County.

The full County Legislature will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building.