FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES $6 MILLION DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE GRANT FOR INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
Grant will Create Seamless Radio System for New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Bergen, Hudson and Essex Counties and Portions of Suffolk and Passaic Counties
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the Department of Justice has awarded New York City $6 million to create a regional command and control radio frequency to link first responders in New York City with Westchester, Nassau and portions of Suffolk County in New York and Bergen, Hudson, Essex and portions of Passaic County in New Jersey as well as with the Port Authority and MTA Police. The grant made under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program will establish a UHF analog radio frequency creating an emergency communication network covering 16 million people.
"Regional communication among first responders is critical to managing a large scale crisis," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This grant will establish a robust radio system that will link the NYPD, FDNY and OEM with their sister agencies in the surrounding counties in New York and New Jersey. I want to thank our Congressional Delegation and the Department of Justice for their assistance in securing this vital upgrade to our emergency responses system."
"This grant will allow us to continue to build the most robust interoperable radio system anywhere in the country and this continued support helps keep New York the most prepared City in the nation," said Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno.
"This grant recognizes the fact that disasters don't respect boundaries, and that we need to communicate beyond them," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.
"One of the lessons we learned four years ago was the need for a regional approach to addressing large-scale disasters," said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. "The creation of a region-wide communications system - in addition to other bridge-building efforts we have undertaken such as mutual aid agreements with neighboring fire departments - will further improve our ability to respond more effectively to major emergencies."
As a result of the grant, public safety agencies will be able to monitor and communicate across political jurisdiction during large scale emergencies. New York City will make three of its six existing emergency response channels accessible to regional partners within their jurisdictions.
Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Jarrod Bernstein (Office of Emergency Management)
Paul Browne (Police Department)
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire Department)