Hinds County studying new radio system

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Feb 24, 2001
This appeared in this week's Northside Sun:

Supervisors hire consultant for support in choosing next radio system purchase

Anthony Warren

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors is prepared to spend up to $25,000 to ensure the next radio system it purchases will be the best option for the county.
At its meeting on June 24, the board voted unanimously to hire New Orleans-based firm Nick Tusa Consulting to look at the county’s radio needs and help the county negotiate with potential vendors on the creation and installation of a new system.
The company will also evaluate whether the previous maintenance provider was performing its duties as specified by its contract, according to Board Attorney Pieter Teeuwissen.
Prior to the meeting, District Two Supervisor Darrel McQuirter reached out to Tusa to speak with the board, and, at the meeting, Teeuwissen gave Tusa a “ringing endorsement.”
Teeuwissen previously worked with the firm as an attorney for the city of Jackson.
“I found the company to be … knowledgeable, responsive and fair with their billing,” he said.
He recommended the board enter into the contract at a rate of $145 an hour plus expenses, with the amount not to exceed $25,000.
“I think it is a good practice to have some sort of set amount. If it looks like he is going to go through that and needs more, I would suggest he write a letter to the board … and we bring him back at that time.”
The recommendation for a set amount was not a reflection on Tusa, Teeuwissen said.
County officials didn’t say how long the contract would remain in place.
The move comes months after the board ended its longstanding contract with Airwave LLC, the firm it hired in 2008 to maintain its 800 MHz communications system.
First responders throughout the county, including the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department and the Jackson Police Department, use the system.
The county had paid the company $4 million between 2008 and April 2014 to maintain the system, but when the system was audited, it was determined that the network was in shambles.
McQuirter previously described the condition of the radios to the Sun, saying it was “worse than we anticipated. The things we found out, on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the best and one being the worst, what we’ve found out is that the system is less than two.”
Among problems, many components of the radio system were not functioning and backup systems were not in place, McQuirter told the Sun.
The problems encountered by the county were supposed to be addressed by Airwave, McQuirter said.
Shortly after terminating Airwave’s contract, the board declared a state of emergency on its radios, and brought on Motorola to repair them. The board is paying the agency around $150,000 to make the repairs, with funds from the county’s e-911 account.

Copyright 2014 The Northside Sun - For 40 years, Covering Northeast Jackson, Madison and Ridgeland.​


Dec 31, 2005
MS Gulf Coast
So, they're going to use cheap, Chinese, ham handhelds now? LMAO

Decent story, as radio related stories go anyway, but that photo is completely amateurish. (pun intended :p)


Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Dec 18, 2002
Indianapolis, IN
Also, Jackson PD and FD have the option of going to the new City of Jackson Harris P25 that is online now... Though something tells me in the end they either upgrade to ASTRO-25 on their own, or go with MSWIN. Especially seeing how Byram, and now Clinton have done so.
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