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New VPD Dispatch Center Dedicated

The digital system was paid for by grants.

Police Chief James Kenny talks about the new state-of-the-art dispatch center at the Vernon Police Department on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
Police Chief James Kenny talks about the new state-of-the-art dispatch center at the Vernon Police Department on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Chris Dehnel
Mayor Daniel Champagne and Police Chief James Kenny formally dedicated the new state-of-the-art dispatch center at the Vernon Police Department on Tuesday. 

The $700,000 center was completed about three weeks ago under the supervision of Lt. William Meier of the VPD and Manchester-based Marcus Communications.

Kenny said the project was paid for by a federal Community Oriented Policing Services - or COPS - grant, secured by the Justice Department with the help of U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney, a Vernon Resident, and a state-administered Local Capital Improvement Program grant. 

He said the work was "on time, under budget and done at no local expense to the taxpayers."

Kenny said the grants were applied for after the Halloween nor'easter of 2011, when the police communications system experienced several technical problems.
At one point, he said, emergency officials worried they would be reduced to running a disaster response with hand-held radios. 

Courtney had often toured the facilities. 

Kenny then went to the Town Council to explain his case and the council gave him permission to begin the project. 

The work was extensive because the wiring runs under the floor at the police station. The entire dispatch center was moved to the department's community room while the conversion was taking place. 

Champagne, a former police officer and council member, said the conversion was imperative.  

The system is now completely digital with communication capabilities reaching to the neighboring South Windsor and Manchester departments. 

The school communications system will eventually hooked up the the news system, Kenny said.

Kenny said the police department now has a communications system that, "sets us up for the next 15 to 20 years."

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