Board approves purchase of new 911 system

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 11, 2018

 The current 911 system at the Shelby Township Police Department will be replaced with a new system and equipment that, along with a multiyear maintenance contract, costs about $200,000.

The current 911 system at the Shelby Township Police Department will be replaced with a new system and equipment that, along with a multiyear maintenance contract, costs about $200,000.

Photo provided by Robert Shelide

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Police Department will be upgrading its 911 system after the Shelby Township Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a new system and equipment.

At the May 15 meeting, the board unanimously approved the purchase of the Positron VIPER 911 system for a cost of $116,451. A software and hardware maintenance contract through AT&T, which includes 24-hour emergency service, also was approved for $87,789.

The cost of the new equipment — which includes servers, switches, monitors and a recording device, among other items — will be split equally between the police capital improvement fund and the fire capital improvement fund.

The maintenance contract with AT&T will be paid out quarterly using 911 funds, according to documents filed by Police Chief Robert Shelide.

Shelide said the current system is about 9 years old, and the new system will be an upgrade to what is currently in place. The system is proprietary to AT&T, which is why the maintenance contract is through it.

“Our current system is outdated, and the hardware is hard to come by for replacements,” Shelide said. “If something happens, we would be in a bind if the system went down because they are not servicing this equipment anymore.”

Shelide said eight to 10 years is the typical life span for a 911 system. The new system is expected to be installed within 90 days, with the new equipment being installed first and then the old equipment switched out so as to not interrupt service during the installation.

In introducing the item before the board, Supervisor Richard Stathakis said the system is in need of replacement.

“The current system is 8 years old and is very dated,” Stathakis said. “The chief is recommending we move forward with this VIPER 911 phone system and the maintenance agreement contract.”

Shelide said the system must be running 24 hours a day, every day of the week, and is a crucial component of the police and fire operations. With the upgrade, the new system has the ability to accept 911 texts, but Shelide said that will not be incorporated at the launch.

“This is about making sure our residents are getting the best possible service from the Police Department,” he said. “And that means having cutting-edge equipment and making sure it is properly serviced.”