Coahoma County EMA, Sheriff’s Department donates two $7k radios to CCC
CLARKSDALE – At first, if a disaster happened at Coahoma Community College, campus police had no way of using their radios to call nearby emergency response agencies for back up. Now that problem is history thanks to the Coahoma County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Sheriff’s Department who generously donated two dual band radios, valued at $7,000 each, to the college.

Coahoma County EMA, Sheriff’s Dept. donates two $7k radios to CCC

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - bdavis@coahomacc.edu

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Fri Jan 23, 2015

Pictured, from left, are Chief Deputy/Warden Otis Griffin; Coahoma County Sheriff Charles Jones; CCC Director of Campus Safety Leon Williams; and Coahoma County EMA Director Johnny Tarzi.

CLARKSDALE – At first, if a disaster happened at Coahoma Community College, campus police had no way of using their radios to call nearby emergency response agencies for back up.

Now that problem is history thanks to the Coahoma County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Sheriff’s Department who generously donated two dual band radios, valued at $7,000 each, to the college.

According to Coahoma County EMA Director Johnny Tarzi, the radios were received through a public civil service commission grant.

“They’re very durable, waterproof and bulletproof … they’re top of the line,” said Tarzi. “With these radios the college can now use what they’re calling the MISWIN system that the state of Mississippi is implementing to create uniform communication throughout the state.”

The Mississippi Wireless integrated Network (MSWIN) system is designed to improve the communication of emergency response agencies throughout the state. With the new system, someone in Clarksdale could talk directly to someone in Biloxi over radio.

“Hurricane Katrina taught us that,” said Williams. “We were on the Gulf Coast during Katrina right next door to one another, but we couldn’t talk to one another. Now Mississippi decided to get uniform so that we can all communicate with one another should a natural disaster or some other traumatic event happen to us.”

Another important feature the radios have is increased privacy.

“With the radios we had before everybody had scanners,” said Chief Deputy/Warden Otis Griffin of the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department. “If you get a scanner for this it’s going to run you over $1000 so people aren’t as willing to go out and buy one.”

Williams said the radios will bring the college on the same page with other agencies who have already upgraded to the new system.

“One of the things I’m excited about is being able to partner with the EMA and Sheriff’s department. This is zero cost to Coahoma, so obviously that’s a big deal for us,” he said.

Coahoma County Sheriff Charles Jones said the donation is a great example of the partnerships necessary to improve the safety in the community.

“This is just the result of an overall good working relationship,” said Jones. “We all have limited resources, so if we don’t pull together we won’t ever get anything accomplished.”

“At the end of the day, we’re all working together for one common goal—public safety,” added Griffin.