"They're not the end-all answer, but I personally believe they're a valuable piece of the overall system," said Bernie Beier, director of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Homeland Security.Beier
receives about $15,000 annually to maintain Allen County's siren network.A new siren costs just less than $19,000, which makes it difficult for Beier
and others in similar positions to accomplish substantial improvements.He
most recent task has been retrofitting older-model sirens to test them remotely to see whether they work.Otherwise, emergency management staff members must call people living near the sirens after each monthly test to see whether they heard them.
That makes it a patchy system with a lot of room for human error, Beier
"It's an aging system.It would take several million to do what should be done," he