Stonington's police department has been approved for a $1.3 million upgrade to their radio system.
It's been something that has been talked about for several years, as the department’s radio system is more than 18 years old.
Communication is key in a job where time is always of the essence, and could make a difference in someone's safety.
"Components of that system are failing at an alarming rate over the last few years,” said Stonington Police Capt. Todd Olson.
The town's board of finance voted Wednesday to approve the $1.3 million radio replacement plan.
"Replacement parts are more difficult to come by and when we do have a certain site go down we lose coverage in that part of town which obviously affects our response,” Olson said.
On top of having issues with signals failing in certain areas, it doesn't allow officers to communicate with other surrounding police departments.
"Our new radio systems will be multi-band so other agencies with other frequencies we will be able to speak with them with their permission to utilize the frequency,” Olson said.
The project will allow Stonington to join the state's pilot system, so not only will they be able to talk with adjacent towns and other services, they can also speak directly with state police.
“The antenna that we will be putting up on our tower will not only assist in bolstering the state signal for our officers but also for the state officers or any other agency that’s on the state system,” Olson said.
The towns finance director says about $725,000 has already been set aside in recent years to offset the cost.
Another $235,000 was appropriated for this year. Then another $400,000 will be put aside for the next.
The new system is expected to be operational on Sept. 1, but the town will keep the existing system as a backup in case of emergency.
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