Police Radios Distributed to Schools, Library, Youth Center, to Increase Security

Old police and fire radios have been distributed to Milford schools, the library, the youth center, and other sites, for selected staff to carry as a direct connection to police.

The Milford police and fire departments replaced the radios worn by emergency responders last year, leaving the old stock available for resale.

Instead, the fire and police chiefs agreed to rehab the equipment and distribute them to local schools, the town library and other public places that draw large numbers of children, where administrators and other personnel can use them in an emergency.

The decision followed a series of meetings among town and school officials, in the wake of the Newtown, CT school shooting tragedy.

The radios provide a portable, direct connection to the combined fire and police dispatch at the Milford police station, said Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin. And police officers hear it too, so they can respond if needed.

Even in everyday incidents, every second counts, he said.

Twenty-one radios were distributed, most to the Milford Public Schools, with one radio going to the Milford Youth Center, two for the Milford Town Library and one radio for the Milford Catholic Elementary School.

The radios will allow personnel to speak with each other inside the buildings on a local frequency, but will also allow them to contact the emergency dispatch, if needed, and then communicate with responding police, firefighters, EMTs or paramedics.

Each radio is either assigned to a person, or to a location, such as one for recess monitors in the elementary and middle schools. If the person uses the radio to contact emergency dispatch, the dispatcher will know immediately who is calling for help, O'Loughlin said.

The radios were rehabbed for their new purpose at a cost of about $25 each, he said, by George Voorhees of Voorhees Communication. They can be carried, or worn at the hip. The rehabbed radios will not include the shoulder unit carried by police.

O'Loughlin said the effort to distribute the radios is the first of its kind in the nation, and "places the services of the police department at the fingertips of school administrators and staff; library and youth center staff."

Mark Cain February 06, 2013 at 10:30 PM
That will stop a killer dead in it's tracks!! Oh boy now the kids are safe.
Myd Nevins February 06, 2013 at 11:14 PM
To be honest, Chief O'Loughlin mentioning it was the first of its kind was a bit of a surprise for me. I had figured a program like this had always been in place. Still, if it wasn't, I'm glad Milford Police are being pro-active.
milfordchief February 07, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Myd, when Superintendent Bob Tremblay and I discussed installing the police radio frequency on their existing radios we found that the technology would not allow it so we began to look at varies options where we could create a system where school personnel could communicate with one another on a daily basis and in an emergency communicate with the police. Frankly, as much as some of us might want, it is not financially feasible to think that you can place a police officer in every school full time for a prolonged period of time. As an example, In Milford that would represent a cost well in excess of a half of a million dollars per year. So in the alternative we have equipped and placed 21 school personnel at the fingertips of police assistance in an emergency or other time of need and now they can alsk they also communication djrectly with the Milford Police School Resiurce Officers.
milfordchief February 07, 2013 at 02:16 AM
After considering the needs of the public schools, we then decided to expand the coverage to other areas in which there is a large congregation of young people (eg Catholic School, liibrary and youth center). In preparing this safety effort, we researched and could not find a police department that allowed direct access to the police department radio frequency by school personnel, library personnel and the youth center; thus we believe we are a national model for school security. We are willing to learn and we are willing to share with other Mark Cain if you review the studies of the tragic events involving mass deaths you too will see that time is one if the most critical elements in determinig a more positive outcome. Time is of the essence if police are going to intervene to prevent or mitigate injuries or death, clearly the issuance of pokice radios to the school, library and youth center personnel will reduce the initial time element and the potential for confusion and it may very well result in stopping a killer in his tracks and protecting children. Chief Tom OLoughlin
Myd Nevins February 07, 2013 at 02:27 AM
It makes sense. For some reason though, maybe because it makes so much sense, I had just assumed that town places like schools and hospitals in their offices or security depts already had a direct radio or nextel connection to your dispatch.


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