A triumvirate of New Hampshire towns shares an emergency response, and differing viewpoints on how to apply their resources, reports the Nashua Telegraph. The town of Milford reported a dire need for equipment upgrades. Four communication failures in one week illustrates Milford’s dilemma. Police captain Craig Frye is Milford’s new town representative and the police department’s outdated analog radio system is one of the first things he’d like to replace.
Milford Selectmen wanted $2.5 million of new equipment for an exclusive system for their town and to move the dispatch center from town hall to the Milford Police Station. Voters decided to downsize the plan and opted for spending $85,000 to hire a consultant.
Beltronics equipment company drafted a $1.7 million plan for Milford that includes additional cell tower sites and upgraded hardware, but the plan is languishing on the drawing table. Partner cities, Wilton and Mount Vernon do not agree that Milford’s needs come first. All three towns must now decide if the three-town arrangement best meets their needs, or if each town would be better off handling its own emergency response network.
While a split would allow each town to tailor its system to meet its own needs, the lack of pooled resources would also drive up the cost. The need for better equipment is undeniable, but how to accomplish this goal is an ongoing battle.
As Captain Frye said, “The good news is that all sides agree the system is failing.” Outgoing Selectman Mike Putnam, however, cautioned the newcomer that this situation has been brewing for a long time and “too many people are involved.”
February 27, 2019