NJ To Receive Federal Funds For Public Safety Communications Network

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — New Jersey will receive $39.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to help create an interoperable wireless public safety broadband network to improve how first responders communicate during a police, fire or other emergency situation. This dedicated network would be for use by public safety entities in New Jersey’s Urban Area Security Initiative region, which includes Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Union and Passaic counties.

The funding, which will be provided by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the Department of Commerce, is expected to improve emergency coordination between 51 public safety agencies and more than 30,000 public safety users.

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“On September 11, we learned how important it is for police, firefighters and other first responders to be able to communicate with each other and across jurisdictional boundaries during an emergency situation,” said U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). “New Jersey is home to the most dangerous two miles in the country for a terrorist attack and it is critical that our first responders have the most advanced technology available to do their jobs safely and effectively. This Recovery Act funding will help ensure that New Jersey emergency responders have access to the equipment and technology they need to keep us safe and secure.”

“The inability of our first responders to fully communicate and coordinate with each other during an emergency was one of the key hometown security lessons we learned on 9/11,” U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said. “As one of the lead sponsors of legislation to implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, I have championed improvements in these communications systems to keep our communities as secure as possible. Through this Recovery Act investment, we will help ensure that our first responders will have instant information and communication during an emergency, and we will create the jobs needed to build this advanced communications network.”

Development of this interoperable broadband network in New Jersey and other states and regions is a critical step towards the deployment of a uniform nationwide interoperable network. Interoperable broadband technology is expected to benefit New Jersey first responders by providing robust and faster access to streaming video, digital imaging, computer-aided dispatching, mapping, remote database access and other applications.


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