Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,333,000)
In partnership with the Township of Sparta, the Township of Hardyston, and the Township of Andover, the Town of Newton requests funding support to purchase updated, interoperable first response communications systems to answer 911 calls and radios respond to emergencies. This application will serve over 65,000 residents in Sussex County across four municipalities, allowing the project to have a wide reach and major positive impact in our communities and beyond. It is essential that these systems are updated collectively to ensure interoperability between these agencies that work together during response efforts. The current systems are aged and lacking critical updates that today’s technology now offers. As a more rural county in comparison with the rest of the state, some of Sussex County’s municipalities are further apart and take longer distances to travel between. As a result, it is critical that all emergency services are reliable, efficient, and swift in their communications. The requested 911 interoperable emergency communications systems would bolster the responses of public safety agencies in Newton, Sparta, Hardyston, Andover, and beyond, and would ensure our communications are reliable for years to come. All technology will adhere to the required state and national standards. Without an effective central system to respond to 911 calls and communicate during emergencies, our residents could be putting their lives and the lives of others at risk. While there are many ways of spending taxpayer dollars, saving the lives of residents and supporting critical public safety efforts are one of the most worthwhile and appropriate ways imaginable.