From left are Sheriff Keith O. Wood, Director John Born, Brian Castner, Telecommunications with Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Colonel Paul A. Pride, Superintendent of the Ohio Highway Patrol. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner
From left are Sheriff Keith O. Wood, Director John Born, Brian Castner, Telecommunications with Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Colonel Paul A. Pride, Superintendent of the Ohio Highway Patrol. Photo by Carrie Gloeckner

POMEROY – The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office received a bit of a an early Christmas present of radios valued at $244,968.

At a press conference today, Meigs County Sheriff Keith O. Wood along with John Born, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and made the announcement. Director Born presented Sheriff Wood with the MARCS radios. The equipment will replace out dated equipment and will be able to cover all of the deputies for the Sheriff’s Office.

Director Born noted that since Sept. 11, 2001, more attention has been focused on security and communication especially with first responders.

“This is just about radios for me, this is about saving lives,” Director Born said. He said he recognizes that first responders are putting their lives on the line when they respond to situations.

Sheriff Wood had applied for the grant to upgrade the equipment and said it was like having Christmas come early. “Hopefully that’s the first of more to come,” the director said and added, “You have a strong advocate in your sheriff. He is a strong advocate for your county. These radios wouldn’t have happened had someone not been speaking up saying you need them.”

“The safety in our community is one of the most important things we deal with everyday for our officers. They are involved with protecting the citizens of the community,” said Sheriff Wood. He said the communication back to the office and those out in the field is crucial. “It is a great gift,” he said.

Sheriff Wood said he plans to see the other area police departments receive a radio. There is also the possibility of the old equipment being reused elsewhere. Sheriff Wood said it had been quite awhile since the equipment was replaced and some of it is simply outdated. He said there had been an upgrade to some of the equipment, but it was a different system than MARCS. The sheriff noted that the MARCS radios are so good they communicate across the state if necessary.

The Sheriff’s Office received 71 MARCS radios including 35 portable radios and 6 dash mount radios.

Colonel Paul A. Pride, Superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, along with Brian Castner of the Emergency Management Agency were also on hand for the presentation at the Sheriff’s Office in Pomeroy.