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Posted on: December 27, 2017

Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs Announces Phase Three to Begin on Public Safety Communications

Katie Gibbs Headshot

Burlington County Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs announced today that the Freeholder Board has taken another important step towards the completion of the county’s public safety communications upgrade project.

During its meeting this morning, the Board initiated phase three of the upgrade project by authorizing an agreement with Motorola to supply and install all of the core radio project components, microwave system, radio tower equipment, outfit the county’s 9-1-1 dispatch center, begin tower construction and phone system design.

“Emergency communications is so critical to the safety and well-being of every man, woman, and child in Burlington County. This upgrade project allows all of the county’s first responders to operate on a comprehensive, state of the art, emergency radio system and will provide police, fire and emergency medical services with new radio equipment at no cost to local taxpayers,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kate Gibbs. “This project ensures that we will continue to effectively meet the emergency and safety needs of our residents for years to come.”

Last year the county began overhauling its public safety communications system as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission. This includes switching from a 500 megahertz (MHz) frequency, to an exclusive, public safety only 700 MHz frequency. The move will allow for better coverage and communications by eliminating interference from TV stations using 500 MHz broadcasting. The upgrade will help save lives by providing our dispatchers with more information on where an emergency is taking place.

Phase one of the upgrade project included obtaining 700 MHz licenses and design of the radio system, including site engineering and approvals. Phase two included 9-1-1 phone system engineering and procurement, microwave system implementation, commercial wireless tower leasing and component coverage and testing. The upgrade project is expected to be completed in 2019.

“The Freeholder Board sincerely thanks our professional and volunteer first responders throughout the county as they are all invaluable to our communities. This upgrade project will better serve those who have dedicated their lives protecting the safety of our residents,” concluded Deputy Director Gibbs.