Gloucester County, New Jersey Department of Emergency Response

June 4th, 2015

Posted In: Public Safety Radio, Wireless & Broadband

GloucesterCLIENT: Gloucester County, New Jersey Department of Emergency Response

SERVICES PROVIDED: Radio Communications Consulting Services APCO Project 25, Phase II (TDMA)

CHALLENGE: Gloucester County (County) is a 329 square mile area located in southwestern New Jersey and is home to 289,000 residents. The County’s Department of Emergency Response dispatches all fire departments, ambulance squads and paramedic units that serve the County as well as dispatching for all municipal departments, the prosecutor’s office, SWAT, and ERT teams.

Since the national switch from analog to digital TV frequencies, commercial broadcast signals have caused interference with radios operating on the 500 MHz frequency nationwide. Early in 2012 the County began investigating the costs of a switch to a 700 MHz radio system after radio blackouts on the County 500 MHz radio frequency were reported by several police and fire departments.

SOLUTION: Mission Critical Partners (MCP) was retained to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the County’s current conditions as well as the needs of the users through a phased approach. Tasks included:

  • Identify alternatives to the current 500 MHz system in an effort to combat digital TV interference.
  • Develop specifications for a new public safety radio communications system and make recommendations on the procurement and implementation of the system.
  • Develop a frequency plan; identify and assist in obtaining additional frequencies as needed.
  • Provide propagation studies to ensure proper design.
  • Assist with communications system site development.
  • Publish procurement documents, coordinate procurement, conduct scoring and negotiations

KEY RESULT: The complete implementation of a microwave network, fixed network infrastructure, and subscriber equipment is scheduled to begin in June, 2014. MCP has completed site development drawings, tower mapping, needs analysis, specification development, and is conducting final negotiations in April, 2014. The complete system and 4,000 subscribers are expected to go on-line in September, 2015.

“This moves us into a realm where we will be supremely interoperable with all of the other counties on both sides of the river, and in both states, which is a huge advantage.” “We also will get a tremendous amount of capacity compared with what we have today, as well as encryption, which we currently don’t have and which will be used on many law enforcement talk groups.”

—Tom Butts, OER Emergency Response Coordinator Emergency Communication Networks


Thomas Butts
Director Department of Emergency Response

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