Something new in Passaic County?

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SCPD

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Growing from the old park police and merging with the county sheriff’s department a number of years back. The Passaic County Sheriff’s department has grown over the years to become a viable asset to the towns and cities of the county by becoming a virtual County Police Department less in the name as to “County Police” versus “County Sheriff”.
Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to work as a communications volunteer involved with ARES/RACES/OEM and Skywarn. I have seen this department obtain and acquire new equipment especially in the area of communications interoperability (mutual aid). The County Sheriff has had the capacity to communicate with individual towns and cities on their own dispatch frequencies when it needed to, especially during a large incident. It is not often that I hear the “County” on a local frequency. However, I have monitored this interaction is mostly noted with the towns of Wayne and Passaic. In particular the City of Passaic, since the both operate on 800 MHz and it is just a simple matter of programming each others frequencies.
However, for first time today I heard “County" unit call in on local town (Clifton) PD frequency to assist one of the Clifton units for a minor MVA. I thought this was unusual, since Clifton PD was not tied up with “traffic” i.e. all cars in the department were busy on calls nor was there a large incident in the town.
I have now heard “county” cars a few more times on the local town PD frequency. Perhaps this is something new? With the County and local municipalities facing budget cuts due to the economy and recession there may be a trend to regionalize and coordinate activities more closely.
Can anyone share more info on this?


Thanks,

Ken / K2YYN
 

SCPD

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I believe Morris County has the best setup. Every active Police, Fire and EMS vehicle including the towns dispatch desk has a MIRS (Morris Interoperable Radio System). The name should say it all.

More counties should follow suit. Morris County paid for most of not all of the infrastructure with DHS funds. But you have to apply.
 

kenisned

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I believe Morris County has the best setup. Every active Police, Fire and EMS vehicle including the towns dispatch desk has a MIRS (Morris Interoperable Radio System). The name should say it all.

More counties should follow suit. Morris County paid for most of not all of the infrastructure with DHS funds. But you have to apply.
Now if they could just cross link other counties as they put their TRS online.
 

RocketNJ

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Well Bergen has 71 towns and each is its own little kingdom. The Kings don't want to let go of the strings.

Regoinalizing is a way to provide better interop communications while saving taxpayers money. The norm in Bergen County is NOT the norm nationwide. Other areas of the country have been using regoinalized dispatch successfully.
 

jmp883

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Ken,

Being a dispatcher here in Passaic County for the last 18 years I can agree with the same sentiment that RocketNJ posted. Each town is it's own little kingdom and the local PD chiefs, at least up-county, prefer to keep it that way. There are several reasons for this in Passaic County but I'm not going to get into the politics of that here.

What should be done is what K2NNJ has posted....put into place a system similar to what they use in Morris County and either provide the required equipment, or financially assist the local PD's, so that every department in the county is capable of operating on it. When I first started dispatching in 1992 I remember that there was a disconnected piece of equipment in the radio desk that was part of a county-wide alert frequency. I was told that when it was in service that it was similar to the Bergen County Crime Net frequency. I had to monitor that when I worked for several years in the late 90's as a per-diem dispatcher in Bergen County.

That is a very viable option since I don't see regionalization, as is common in Bergen County, happening anytime soon in Passaic County. In the last 4-5 years most of the up-county towns have all just spent large sums of money upgrading from their old VHF-Lo frequencies (many of them shared with other local departments) to each town getting their own UHF PD and FD frequencies. Each town has spent a fortune from FCC licensing fees to the purchase of new base, mobile, handheld, and pager equipment. I can't speak for all the towns but in my department not only did we buy all the new equipment listed above we also totally gutted the radio room and rebuilt/remodeled it. With all that money spent, and every town now on their own frequencies, I just don't see regionalization happening any time soon.

Something does need to be done....that's for sure.
 

SCPD

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Somthing New in Passaic County

Joe,

I remember working with with you in Passaic County ARES/RACES before I stepped back a year and a half ago. Yes I remember the old crime alert frequency for Passaic County on 158.805 (Now it's the Freeholders Ch) and 155.100 for Essex County and the old LB frequency 37.380 For Bergen County, Here I go again dating my self :roll:!
The idea here was not to bring up the pros and cons of regionalism and its political overtures and petty fiefdoms. I am well acquainted of these issues here in both Bergen and Passaic Counties.
It has been a few days now since I have heard any County Units on on Clifton's main VHF PD Frequency. It may have been a rare occurrence, though I monitor Clifton many hours each day. As stated I would anticipate this if Clifton was tied up. However, it was pleasantly surprising when I did hear the traffic.
My point is, I just wanted to see if anyone else may have monitored this trend. Since it could be a test for future things to come.

Thanks for reading,

Ken / K2YYN:D
 

Signal-Zero

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What Morris did is great for countwide interop...but, why all that money so each town can talk to each other. They can already do that on SPEN 1. Plus, talk to NJSP and almost every Federal agency as well.

I remember when Morris Plains had a bank robbery on 202 and 10. The dispatcher at Morris Plains put it out over MIRS. A vehicle fitting the description was seen by a Morris Twp unit on S Jefferson Rd in Hanover. Hanover Township put THAT over SPEN 1 sine the officer was alone felony stopping the car. Within seconds, there were 3 troopers and 2 Feds with him with guns out. Those back up units would have never known anything was going on if Hanover didn't put it over SPEN 1 because they don't have MIRS radios.

So, just because you spend millions and call it an interop system, doesn't mean it actually is.
 

RocketNJ

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Remember, the Morris County system's original intent was for county agency only to get all county agencies on the same system for county interoperability. There were agencies on 39 MHz, 45/46 MHz, and high band.

Only after they started seeing the benefit of a county-wide radio system that would allow different agencies to talk to each other did they start planning and developing the municipal level interoperability.
 

jmp883

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Ken,

It wasn't until after I posted my message that I realized that it was you who started this thread, that new callsign threw me off. Of course that doesn't explain how I missed your screen name! My apologies...my plate has been kind of full the last 2 or 3 years with job changes and residence changes. Things have somewhat settled down again. The only constant for me is that I'm still dispatching, which I'm happy about. I'm also living back in Passaic County again, which is good.

Anyway...I didn't mean to draw the thread into a political topic. You're right in regard to what you've been hearing on the scanner. I do believe that most of the county mobile units have radios that have all, or most of, the local pd frequencies in them. I'm not aware of a formal agreement in place between the county and the locals in regard to county units assisting on a call. It would seem, from what we've both heard, that if the county unit is available, and near the call, that he can offer his services to the local agency. I've noticed that this seems to happen more down-county than it does up here by me.

Is it a sign of a more formal agreement coming in the near future? I can't answer that one, but I can say that based on several major incidents I've been directly involved with that the attitude of the locals towards the county is tenuous, at best. And with that I'll say no more :) !

Joe-KC2PJL
 

kenisned

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What Morris did is great for countwide interop...but, why all that money so each town can talk to each other. They can already do that on SPEN 1. Plus, talk to NJSP and almost every Federal agency as well.

I remember when Morris Plains had a bank robbery on 202 and 10. The dispatcher at Morris Plains put it out over MIRS. A vehicle fitting the description was seen by a Morris Twp unit on S Jefferson Rd in Hanover. Hanover Township put THAT over SPEN 1 sine the officer was alone felony stopping the car. Within seconds, there were 3 troopers and 2 Feds with him with guns out. Those back up units would have never known anything was going on if Hanover didn't put it over SPEN 1 because they don't have MIRS radios.

So, just because you spend millions and call it an interop system, doesn't mean it actually is.
You bring up a good point. I think that SPEN should be used for those BOLO's etc, not MIRS.

MIRS is also limited for those of us who operate on county lines. A good portion of our mutual aid coming from out of county do not have MIRS radios. That's why I would hope that we never migrate to that system.

Right now any mutual aid with a VHF radio can talk to us. Not so if we operated on MIRS.

As a matter of fact, if we were to respond into Chester, we can't talk on the Municipal Fire channel. It's not programmed into our MIRS radio. So the operation as it grows would have to migrate from MUNI FD to a MIFD TG.

It's certainly a flaw in the system or how the system operates.

An alternative is to move any "real" incident to a common MIFD channel at the outset. However, you start asking some of these guys to start changing channels on their radios and some will not know how to do that.

Sophistication is nice, but some will struggle with it.
 

Signal-Zero

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I can't get people to remember to switch off the repeater to the simplex fireground half of the time...good point. You can change technology but you can't make people change with it.

There was a time in Orange Couny NY when they were going to switch from department names to numbers on the radio so it would be easier on the county dispatchers since the number is how it's listed in the CAD. That got scrapped because they couldn't get the vollys to say "seven" instead of "Cornwall" etc.
 

Sybex7254

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What Morris did is great for countwide interop...but, why all that money so each town can talk to each other. They can already do that on SPEN 1. Plus, talk to NJSP and almost every Federal agency as well.

I remember when Morris Plains had a bank robbery on 202 and 10. The dispatcher at Morris Plains put it out over MIRS. A vehicle fitting the description was seen by a Morris Twp unit on S Jefferson Rd in Hanover. Hanover Township put THAT over SPEN 1 sine the officer was alone felony stopping the car. Within seconds, there were 3 troopers and 2 Feds with him with guns out. Those back up units would have never known anything was going on if Hanover didn't put it over SPEN 1 because they don't have MIRS radios.

So, just because you spend millions and call it an interop system, doesn't mean it actually is.
Actually NJSP Netcong barracks does have a MIRS radio. They are included in the MIRS roll call conducted by the County Communications Center. I have also heard simultaneous broadcasts (BOLO's, etc.) being sent out on both SPEN and MIRS by various municipalities so I would think putting them out over MIRS as a plus since most of the county Police agencies do not have VHF SPEN radios in their cars (I know a few do).

My point isn't to argue what is the correct interop method but to simply state that a much greater level of I/O now exists in Morris County where it did not before. Both, SPEN and MIRS, are highly effective tools when used correctly.
 
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