Ridgewood's village council on Wednesday to meet narrowband radio requirements set in place by the federal government. The funding includes the purchase of new radios, an upgrade of fiber optic lines as well as software improvements to its shared dispatch center with Glen Rock.
The passage of the ordinance does not preclude the council from electing not to purchase each element of the plan. The ordinance enables the village to make funding available. The council will still have to specifically vote for the puchase of new equipment.
The village to be fully narrowband compliant. It will be adding a digital component to its analog radio system, which officials said should mitigate many of the public safety challenges it faces.
Ridgewood's "patchwork" system contains numerous drop zones, in which police, firemen and EMS personnel cannot use their radios in the field.
There has been no word on the status of grant funding. A federal fire grant might bring back as much as $600,000.
Glen Rock, which also has communications and coverage issues, recently approved a related $525,000 ordinance for radio-based upgrades. The borough was already compliant with federal standards but will benefit largely from infrastructure improvements.
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