Commissioners approve upgrading county's outdoor warning system

WICHITA — Sedgwick County commissioners today unanimously approved upgrading the county's outdoor warning devices.

The sirens, some of which were installed in the early 1950s, need to be upgraded, Randy Duncan, the Sedgwick County Emergency Management Director, told commissioners during their weekly meeting.

The proposed new system would allow sirens to be more location-specific during severe weather. The project would be phased in through several years.

"We definitely have some bad actors out there that need to be replaced," Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Karl Peterjohn said after hearing a report on the condition of the county's warning system.

"We will be looking for capability and demonstrated reliability to meet our needs," said Bob Lamkey, Sedgwick County director of public safety. "There are some places where we have, in my opinion, unnecessary overlap.

"We will go through a process of discernment and work with the communities."