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Local News

Police digital radio frequency licensing bid goes to Yorkville City Council

Carri Parker, purchasing manager for Yorkville and Oswego, talks during the Thursday, Nov. 7 Yorkville public safety committee meeting at City Hall in Yorkville.
Carri Parker, purchasing manager for Yorkville and Oswego, talks during the Thursday, Nov. 7 Yorkville public safety committee meeting at City Hall in Yorkville.

UPDATED 9 A.M. FRIDAY, NOV. 8:

YORKVILLE – Yorkville officials continue to talk about the city's police department eventually making one of their police radio channels encrypted within the next few years.

The city's public safety committee discussed during their Thursday, Nov. 7 meeting a total $82,785 bid over three years from A Beep LLC out of Joliet to make one of the police department's radio communication channels a digital frequency. The bid also includes the frequency eventually becoming an encrypted one, meaning only law enforcement within the county could talk and listen to each other on that channel.

Carri Parker, purchasing manager for Yorkville and Oswego, had reached out to four other agencies outside of Yorkville – including Oswego, Montgomery, Plano and Kendall County – and they all agreed to participate in the bid to reduce overall costs for all of the involved agencies, according to city documents. She said A Beep came back as the more competitive rate and services that can be provided to participating agencies.

"This agreement will be just to lock in the pricing they have provided us," Parker said.

According to city documents, it would cost the city $17,528 to purchase the licenses for the digital frequency for portable radios during fiscal year 2021, with an additional cost of $15,940 for any additional portable radios that would need to be purchased and licensing for the digital and encrypted frequencies on those additional radios. It would cost the city $25,872 to purchase the encrypted licenses during fiscal year 2022 and $23,445 to purchase both licenses for in-car radios during fiscal year 2023.

The update comes after city public safety officials last discussed the matter during a Sept. 11 public safety committee meeting.

Staff said in city documents KenCom board members have been discussing the idea applying to agencies county-wide for almost a year and Oswego was looking to do something similar, where they already purchased the radios and just need the licenses. Kendall County Sheriff's Office and the Plano and Montgomery police departments also are looking into the licenses, along with compatible radios, according to city documents.

KenCom provides emergency dispatching services for the county sheriff's office, county municipal police departments and fire protection districts.

While other agencies would also need to purchase compatible radios, Parker said, Yorkville already purchased more than 30 new radios for the department for $22,888 for fiscal year 2019. She said those radios are already digital and encrypted frequency capable and the police department would only need the frequency licenses for each radio.

“We fortunately were able to get them here in Yorkville in April, so we were able to capitalize on that,” Parker said.

Yorkville Police Chief Jim Jensen said the police department is still looking at other funding sources for the radio frequencies and licensing agreements. He said Yorkville police representatives are still working with KenCom and other members that sit on the KenCom finance committee to see what their funding options are.

“So hopefully we will have more to report on later on,” Jensen said.

Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson said the matter is set to go before the City Council during its regular meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road.

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