WOODBRIDGE—Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7) and Woodbridge Township Mayor John McCormac announced Monday that the House of Representatives will soon pass legislation that includes Lance’s request for $500,000 to upgrade the Woodbridge Police Department’s communications capabilities. This federal investment would help the township expand its ongoing comprehensive first-responder communications upgrade.
“We learned during the response to 9/11 that first responders from different agencies must be able to communicate effectively with each other,” Lance said during a news conference with McCormac. “These important federal funds will help Woodbridge first responders meet this important goal and ultimately result in increased safety for the public. I look forward to continuing working closely with Mayor McCormac to strongly advocate for the needs of Woodbridge Township.”
McCormac said the new funding would lead to increased public safety in the township, the largest in the 7th District.
“The most important and crucial responsibility of township government is protecting public safety during times of crises,” McCormac said. “To make certain we get the best system available, I have put together a team of police, emergency management, and radio communications experts to assist in the development and implementation of an advanced police emergency management radio communications system. The funding advocated by Congressman Lance for the Woodbridge Township Police Department will go a long way toward achieving our public safety goal and improving police/EMS communications in times of crisis or emergency.”
McCormac noted that the $500,000 in federal funding will allow Woodbridge Township (the fifth largest municipality in the state of New Jersey) to continue to implement a comprehensive police/EMS radio communications system that is currently under construction.
When fully implemented, the state-of-the-art public safety communications system will effectively connect the police department, township fire departments and emergency medical service, and local government services during emergency and/or crisis events. The EMS communications upgrade is required to replace separate aging and obsolete radio systems installed in 1978.
The upgraded system will integrate police, fire, EMS and public safety agencies via a common radio communications system and, potentially, will be the cornerstone that will link neighboring police, fire and EMS via the Woodbridge network. The new police communications system will be a trunked digital simulcast system and will operate on seven frequencies at the 500 MHz licensed exclusively for Woodbridge Township.
Police Chief William Trenery said the police department receives more than 100,000 calls by residents each year for service and emergency response.
“The key to effective police and emergency management response is a radio communications system capable of allowing police, fire, emergency management and local government agencies to effectively talk to each other at all times, particularly during an emergency or disaster-related event,” Trenery said.
The Woodbridge funding was included in the annual appropriations bill that finances the Justice Department and other federal agencies. That bill must still be reconciled with the Senate’s version of the legislation before a final measure – not expected until this fall – could be sent to the White House.
Lance and McCormac also thanked Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-13) for his support of the funding request.
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