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police & fire

Palisades Interstate Parkway Police first to adopt high-tech state radio system

Photo Credit: using new APX6000 portable on PSIC. Photo by Anthony Toranto, PIPC
Photo Credit: using new APX6000 portable on PSIC. Photo by Anthony Toranto, PIPC

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Palisades Interstate Parkway Police have become the first law enforcers in New Jersey to move their radio communications system onto the state’s new Public Safety Interoperable Communications platform.

The 700MHz PSIC system is a statewide trunking radio platform primarily funded by the U.S. Office of Homeland Security to reduce the financial burden on public safety agencies required to meet federally imposed “narrow banding” mandates.


Detective Raymond Walter in photo using new APX6000 portable on PSIC. Photo by Anthony Toranto, PIPC

Agencies operating between 470-512 megahertz are facing a probability that the FCC will auction off that frequency band in 2021 — forcing them to find a new avenue.

“For years our agency operated on a VHF frequency and an infrastructure which was plagued with coverage, connectivity, and reliability problems,” Lt. Michael Coppola, the PIP commander, said. “The system limited our capabilities and was costly to maintain.

“With the implementation of the PSIC system, our agency was able to purchase only the operating radios such as portables, mobiles, and desk radios.”

What’s left is maintained and upgraded as required by the state.

Using the PSIC, the department is able to cut maintenance cost of the old system by 75%, increase coverage and capabilities, and “enhance the safety of both our officers and the public,” Coppola said.

The new system’s coverage is similar to a computing cloud, he said: “From an operational standpoint, it is able to provide cellular comparable coverage while in a traditional two-way radio form.

“This solution was a perfect fit for us, as we no longer need to maintain antennas, receivers, transmitters, connectivity, or maintenance costs,” Coppola said.

“We are able to leverage advanced technology, which gives additional functionality such as channel capacity, GPS locations, and encryption.

“We will have the ability to track not only officer vehicle locations but the officers themselves,” the lieutenant said.

The PIPPD has chose Motorola Solutions for radio models APX6000, APX6500, APX7000, APX7500, and APX7500 consolettes, which Coppola said “have been proven to be perfect for our needs.”

To cover the cost, the PIP police used assets seized from criminals.

The PSIC system is managed by the New Jersey Office of Information Technology and NJ State Police Radio Equipment Maintenance Unit.

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