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Council to mull police fire range upgrades, radio system parts purchase, equipment inventory

Updated: April 9, 2013 5:38PM

ELGIN - At Wednesday’s committee of the whole meeting, Elgin City Council members are set to discuss upgrading the police firing range, replacing parts of its old emergency communications system, and paying an outside firm to conduct a building-related equipment inventory.

According to supporting material for the session. the current range was installed when Elgin’s police headquarters downtown was built in 1996.

“Over the years the equipment in the range has seen normal wear and tear and has become far less dependable with frequent breakdowns. The current configuration also is not ideal to meet the present day training needs,” the meeting documents state.

Elgin Police Commander Glenn Theriault said that the present setup is operating at less than 50 percent capacity and often is down for general maintenance.

This project will involve replacing and reconfiguring the target systems and the controls within the range and should reduce the downtime and repairs that often take the range out of service and make it unavailable for training. The new configuration also will more closely simulate real scenarios that police might encounter.

Theriault explained the rehabbed range won’t have booths but will be wide open with a lateral targeting system, meaning police can practice for situations where criminals would be coming at them from various directions beyond just straight ahead. Those targets will be able to rotate 360 degrees, Theriault said, and the upgrade will include armor for the range that will allow police to train with all but their very highest powered weapons.

The $131, 413 contract is set to be awarded to Meggitt Training Systems, Inc., the multinational company based in the United Kingdom that put up the current range.

Replacing old parts, with new radio system in the works

On another public safety matter, the council will discuss moving along renewing an agreement with Motorola Solutions of Schaumburg to maintain emergency communications system in the amount of $169,234.

Most of the current system has been up and running since 1996 and has been maintained by Motorola. The set-up includes a four-site simulcast trunked radio system, primary and backup communications centers, 911 emergency and non-emergency telephone systems, weather warning sirens, and monitoring system infrastructure

“Over the course of the last four years, several of the system’s key components have reached their end of life, further stressing the importance of ensuring that the infrastructure is effectively maintained,” meeting documents state.

In December, the council recently approved purchasing for a new radio system from Motorola at a cost of $11.7 million, plus another $1.1 million in contingency funds. Thus, it is expected this will be final year maintenance will be paid on the existing system.

Theriault said that this spring will see the installation and distribution of all new end-user radios. In summer, workers will build and install all backend hardware.

In fall, preliminary testing will take place. Also, the backup communications center at city hall will be rebuilt. This will provide the public safety communications crew a space to work while the main communications center is built in winter.

If all goes well, Theriault said, everything should be completely operational by spring 2014.

Inventory time

The council also is set to move along a $324,600 contract with Facility Management World Wide Ltd. of East Durham, New York for a building-related equipment inventory.

Supporting material for the Wednesday meeting states, “The city of Elgin currently owns over 125 buildings ranging from picnic shelters to the 200,000 square foot Centre of Elgin. Each facility may contain multiple pieces of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, security and general building systems which all must be maintained at proper levels to ensure a safe, secure, comfortable and reliable environment for the public and employees that use them each day.”

The documents also note that “the building maintenance department has collected information on all of its equipment inventory but has never had the resources to keep up with the many changes that have taken place in city facilities.”

A big part of the project would involve consolidating service manuals, parts lists, wiring diagrams, blueprints and equipment history into system that would let the technicians access information they need on demand.

Elements of the project will include planning maintenance tasks with detailed instructions, schedules and resources, assessing conditions of all major city facilities, evaluating service levels, building a staffing model, providing a parts and material inventory, labeling parts and entering the parts data into the work management system, and setting up service vehicles with proper parts inventories and tools.

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