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Winston-Salem approves $18M upgrade for public safety radio system

The technology is essential for first responders to be able to communicate with each other.
Credit: J. Sinclair Photography

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem city council decided it was time for an upgrade to their public safety communication system. The radio communications setup around the city and Forsyth County is 20 years old. The city said the old system was constantly in need of repairs and many of the needed parts are no longer available. On Tuesday night, city council approved an $18 million deal to install a new system.

The idea was initially proposed in summer of 2021.

The new technology will come from Motorola Solutions. The radio communication system is used by law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical responders. Other departments like public works, facilities maintenance and public health also rely on the technology.

The new system will cost $18 million to install. Winston-Salem will put up $8.5 million. Forsyth County's share is the other $9.5 million.

Forsyth County will be in charge of disposing of the old an unneeded equipment.

The city said a $122 million 2018 city bond referendum will pay for the new system. The bond was approved in November 2018. A $9 million chunk will come out of the funds to pay for the city's portion of the installation.

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