Norwich to seek professional review of outdated communications system

Norwich — Troubled by the shortcomings of its radio system, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Wednesday voted to direct the city to seek proposals for a needs assessment of the outdated system.

The request would allow for a professional review of communication systems used by police, Norwich Public Utilities, Public Works and volunteer fire departments.

The directive comes after years of police department complaints about the low-band technology and dead zones of their hand-held radios, a clear safety hazard, according to Police Chief Louis J. Fusaro.

Fusaro called Wednesday’s vote “a good first step.” Yantic Fire Chief Frank Blanchard said it was something that was “long overdue.”

Norwich Police Capt. Patrick Daley has said that estimates to upgrade radios and dispatch equipment to a more reliable high-band 700 to 800 MHz system range from $7 million to $10 million.

New London was the most recent local municipality to upgrade its radio system, a $2.38 million investment that allowed them to couple with Waterford’s existing infrastructure.

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