The City of Soldotna accepted a $28,000 grant to replace the police department’s portable radios — which are carried by officers — during a city council meeting on Dec. 13. Soldotna police will need approximately $85,000 over the next several years to replace all of the portable radios officers use to communicate with dispatchers and other law enforcement agencies.
The portable radios currently used by the department, the Motorola XTS5000 series, have been discontinued, and the manufacturer will stop making parts in 2018, Soldotna Chief Peter Mlynarik said. The radios currently used by the department have been around for at least a decade, Mlynarik said. He expects the new radios to last for five to 10 years.
The grant, which is provided by the State of Alaska, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, will cover the replacement cost of only five of the 14 portable radios needed. The department’s radios will be replaced with APX6000 models, also made by Motorola. The department also needs to replace its 14 mobile radios, which are used in vehicles. If the department can’t get grant funding for the radios, the city will have to come up with the funds to cover the cost, Mlynarik said.