AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Old radio equipment at the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Department has been causing dropped calls and adding minutes to response times, causing the Sheriff to ask for an upgrade.
The Sheriff's Department will be receiving $97 thousand from the county's contingency fund for emergency spending to replace the radio communication console.
According to County Commissioner Randal Greenwood, the allocation is "unprecedented," and leaves $3 thousand left in the contingency fund for the rest of the year.
"It's not normal for an agency or a department within the county to ask for such a large request," said Sheriff Guy Desjardins.
"But it got to the point that I made the decision that it was an emergency situation," said the Sheriff.
He said it's been a problem for eight years, and last week, he had enough.
At a fatal accident scene in Greene, one of his deputies couldn't get through to the dispatch center to ask for back up.
"He needed to protect the scene, and protect the people there," said Sheriff Desjardins. "So every minute counts."
He said he expects the department to have the new console up and running in about two months.
The $97 thousand only covers the first phase of the equipment upgrade.
The Sheriff will be asking for up to $150 thousand to replace equipment in the field in the 2013 county budget.