Joe P. Asher
The city of Cumberland has been awarded a $9,000 grant for upgrading the city’s radio systems.
According to Mayor Carl Hatfield, the city will not be responsible for any matching funds.
Hatfield said council member David Dixon was responsible for collecting the necessary information required to apply for the grant.
Dixon noted the grant originates from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.
“It was a Homeland Security Grant for fiscal year 2012,” said Dixon. “Currently the city of Cumberland’s fire department radios are not compatible with the police department, nor Harlan dispatch. They are on a different frequency and are different types of radios. That poses a security hazard when there are fires because the fire department can’t communicate with the police department.”
The police and fire departments currently use an alternative method to communicate with each other.
“They have to use cell phones and such to communicate,” said Dixon. “There are certain areas in Cumberland where there isn’t a good cell phone signal. So, for the safety and security of the police and fire departments, as well as anybody who may be involved in a fire, I applied for this grant.”
Dixon said the radios that are currently being used by the city are not city property.
“The radios that the city currently have belong to the county. All the radios we obtain through this grant will belong to the city, and that benefits both departments,” said Dixon.
Dixon noted it should not be long before the new radio equipment is in service.
“There is a mandatory workshop the first couple weeks of November that either myself or Mayor Hatfield will be attending. I’m hoping we will have the equipment up and running not long after that,” said Dixon.
According to Dixon, there was no opposition from the council or department heads.
“Before I sent in the paperwork, I approached my fellow city council members and received their approval before any paperwork was sent in. They were all on board with it, as was the police department and the fire department. Both departments feel this is a necessity, so to insure the safety of the citizens of Cumberland I completed the grant,” said Dixon.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com