The FY 2020 state budget approved by the Arizona Legislature this week provides $271,000 for maintenance and improvements to Southeastern Arizona Communications (SEACOM), setting the stage for potential integration with other regional communication systems in the future.
The funding was requested to cover two years of maintenance, upgrades, and support for a 700 Mhz and VHF radio system and microwave network, which provides compatibility with communications systems used by state and federal agencies like the Arizona Department of Public Safety and U.S Marshals Service. This ensures a microwave backbone is in place along the full southern Arizona border and positions Cochise County’s network for integration with a larger multi-regional or statewide system when the opportunity arises.
“Since it was established by the City of Sierra Vista and Cochise County in 2018, SEACOM has helped increase efficiencies to drive down costs while also improving dispatch services throughout Cochise County,” Sierra Vista City Manager Chuck Potucek says. “This funding will help SEACOM realize its full potential by readying it for future integration with regional communication systems in southern Arizona and throughout the state.
“We appreciate the efforts made by Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, and others to ensure our state leaders understand the importance of this funding requested by the City of Sierra Vista,” Potucek says.
Southeastern Arizona Communications (SEACOM) is a regional communications center established by an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Sierra Vista and Cochise County in 2018.
SEACOM currently provides combined dispatching services for the Sierra Vista Police Department, Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services, Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, Huachuca City Police Department, Fry Fire District, Whetstone Fire District, and several other rural fire districts in Cochise County.