Emergency Communications System upgrade a hot button topic at Public Hearing

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More than one resident attending the April 10 budget public hearing had an issue with adding $4 million to the budget for an emergency communications system upgrade.

This project has been on the town’s to-do list for decades, but its complexity and expense have put it on the  back burner. The need for the upgrade has become critical, hence its inclusion in the 2023-24 municipal budget.

Granby’s first responders include the police and fire departments, the ambulance association and public works.  Each uses communications equipment that is several decades old with components no longer manufactured, so repair is impossible. Fire Chief John Horr, Jr. notes that, “The LAFD equipment is over 30 years old and is on a system that is over 50 years old, while the dispatch system used to support all of us responders through the police department is 23 years old. We are woefully overdue for upgrades.” 

All of the systems are several decades old.

—Fire Chief John Horr, Jr.

Because of the town’s uneven topography, a police officer in West Granby trying to call dispatch for help may not be able to get through on the radio. Connection has been lost between two buildings within the municipal complex requiring four different tower sites throughout Granby, not just one. Bids will go out to address this and for replacing all the equipment necessary to capture and send out communications.

The cost for this extensive work is estimated to be $4 million—the cost of a life lost because of missed communication is inestimable.

JUNE 2023 CORRECTION: In the piece entitled, Emergency Communications System upgrade a hot topic at Public Hearing we improperly stated that $4 million was going to be added to the budget for an emergency system upgrade. We regret the error and encourage you to read Mike Guarco’s two articles in the June 2023 issue (first article, second article) for a more complete explanation of the funding process for this initiative.