Police radio usage scrutinized

The Madison and Ridgeland police departments have been using Hinds County’s 800 mhz radio system free of charge without the authorization of the Board of Supervisors, according to a preliminary audit done for the county.

That could mean Hinds County is due thousands in back fees.

The county customarily charges outside agencies $10 per radio per month to subscribe to its radio system. The board must vote to approve all such agreements.

The audit, being conducted for the county by Jackson-based Brown Communications Inc., recommends Hinds seek “redress” for the fees owed from the police departments.

But the agencies say they are doing nothing wrong. The say they are on the county radio system because of an agreement made between local law enforcement three years ago.

Hinds supervisors were unaware the police departments were on the county radio system and not paying, said District 1 Supervisor Robert Graham.

The county has never approved such a setup, he said.

Graham wouldn’t discuss the matter further.

“I don’t want to talk about the audit because this is not complete,” he said. “This is just a preliminary audit.”

How the cities ended up on the county radio system without supervisors knowing is unclear in the audit.

The county is investigating and will decide what action, if any, to take once the audit is complete, Graham said.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Capitol Police and AMR ambulance service all subscribe to Hinds County’s radio system, Graham said.

Clarion Ledger
6/19/8