Merrill police will get new radios - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill police will get new radios

MERRILL (WAOW) -- During this month's storms, Merrill police officers had to borrow radios from Lincoln County and even then had some difficulty using them. They will soon have new technology to keep lines of communication open.

Every couple of years, you have to buy a new cell phone because your old one becomes outdated. Merrill police use that same theory and now they'll be getting a new batch of radios.


When the storms hit on April 10th, trying to get ahold of anyone was a daunting task.

"The land line phones were dead, of course, because we tried to call 911 right away and guess what? No response," said Thomas Johnson, who lives in Merrill.


People in Merrill said they needed to use cell phones to keep in touch with family, friends and neighbors. But the lack of power didn't stop local law enforcement from stepping up their game.


Many said they think police and firefighters did a great job keeping the town secure but officers said problems did come up during the week.

"The radios we currently have are outdated and we did not have sufficient radios for each officer to use," said Merrill Police Chief Ned Seubert, "which to me is a big issue."

The numbers didn't add up, with 22 officers on the force and only 12 working radios. So they borrowed a few from Lincoln County and made do. With plans to update their radio system, they're better prepared for another emergency.

"It's been building," said Chief Seubert. "It would have happened eventually but the storm really brought it to our attention and we need to do it now a lot sooner than just wait for things to happen."

Chief Seubert said the new radios will work even if cell towers are down or the electricity goes out. They plan to buy 18 new radios to add to the four newer radios they already have to help keep their lines of communication open no matter what. 

"Technology changes with it and we need to keep up with today's standards," said Chief Seubert.

Chief Seubert said the new radios will cost about $33,000. The city council approved the purchase of the radios at Monday night's meeting.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera




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