Byram uses city money to buy police radios - - Jackson, MS

Byram uses city money to buy police radios

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BYRAM, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The city of Byram is going out on its own to buy police radios from Motorola. City officials will not accept E.F. Johnson radios already bought by Hinds County from 9-1-1 funds.

The price tag on the radios is about $233,000.

Board president George Smith told fellow board members at their regular Monday meeting that he had gotten a call from WLBT over the weekend informing him that the city of Byram was going to bypass the board and buy its own Motorola police radios.   

Chief Luke Thompson says what has happened has nothing to do with the radio brands. 

"Being that we are this close to our June 1 date, and the date we promised our community that we were going to start providing 24 hour service. We went to the board of aldermen last week and asked that we go into a purchase plan with Motorola because they were the cheaper radios," said Thompson. 

Last month, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors had agreed to buy the radios for Byram out of 911 funds. Smith says the radios came in four days after the order, but he doesn't know now what will happen to the radios. 

"I guess my question is how do you tax the taxpayers for additional radios, when the radios are already ordered, they are here, ready to be installed," said Thompson. 

Supervisor Phil Fisher, on army active duty in Afghanistan, says by e-mail, it is a shame Byram has to use its own money to buy the radios. 

Byram police are now using borrowed radios from the emergency operations center and sheriff's reserve.  

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