Meeting to Address Starke County Emergency Communications Issues Postponed

The Starke County Emergency Management Agency wants to get stakeholders in the county’s radio communications system together in an attempt to solve problems with both VHF and 800 mHz systems.

The county commissioners last week charged EMA Director Jake Lippner with resolving the matter. He wants to set up a committee with representatives from every agency on the county’s system as well as anyone with knowledge of those systems or communications as a whole. Lippner says that also includes outside agencies that work on the system.

He says the focus will be to try and find the most effective, long-term fix for both the communication process and system. Lippner wants members to brainstorm and develop a five-year plan for the system and project.

He notes the radio system affects everyone in the community. Firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, police officers, EMS personnel and first responders use radios to communication among themselves and with Starke County dispatchers. Significant dead spots have been noted in Koontz Lake since a storm toppled a tower in downtown Knox several years ago. Lippner wants a clear path toward resolving the issues before offering a recommended fix to the Starke County Commissioners.

The committee’s first meeting was scheduled for Wednesday. However, Lippner says it has been postponed at the request of Commissioner Donnie Binkley. Lippner plans to reschedule it for a later date.