All on the Same Page

Police and fire departments throughout DuPage County are now all on the same page. At a recent press conference, County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, local police and fire representatives, and the Emergency Telephone System Board announced the launch of the DuPage Emergency Dispatch Interoperable Radio System.

The new system allows all police, fire and emergency personnel to communicate on the same frequency using the StarCom21statewide radio network

“Since the events of 9/11 when we lost firefighters and police officers, partly due to their inability to communicate with each other, our goal was to enhance radio communication systems to provide seamless interoperability both on a daily operation level and to respond to mass critical incidence,” said Cronin.

Speakers referenced the 2008 Wheaton bank heist, when police had to communicate with each other via hand signals. Now 60 police and fire agencies are able to communicate using StarCom21.

“We had a system that was in place at the time, where an officer could not talk to his neighbor in another. It was unsafe for the public, and it was unsafe for our officers,” said Hinsdale Police Chief, Bradley Bloom.

The $30 million project was funded through a federal grant and money collected through the 9-1-1 wireless surcharge.

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