Upgrades to Hopewell Township’s outdated emergency dispatch system to improve communication Valley-wide

Hopewell Township police vehicle at Hopewell Township Municipal Complex on Aug. 11. 

State grant funds will not only replace equipment for outdated Hopewell Township’s emergency 9-1-1 dispatch system, but also provide “updated technology” for a state-of-the-art communication center.

“This will ensure the system complies with current standards and is able to expand as necessary into the future,” Hopewell Township Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning said.

Peters-Manning praised Township Administrator George Snyder for his work with the grant application and with state legislative officials.

“[Snyder] responded by tirelessly working with the office of Assemblywoman Verlina Reyolds-Jackson (D-15) to fund this critical infrastructure need,” she said. “With [Reynolds-Jackson’s] support, along with the support of [state] Sen. Shirley Turner (D-15) and Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-15), the application was approved, keeping Hopewell Valley residents safer now and into the future.”

Hopewell Township’s emergency dispatch system also serves Hopewell Borough and Pennington, according to the township.

“This upgrade therefore will improve communication and collaboration Valley-wide,” Peters-Manning said.

“Connecting the many types of first responders who might be needed in an emergency, the Hopewell Township Police Department, the fire companies, emergency medical technicians, and even neighboring cities and towns who can help during big emergency events like we saw with Tropical Storm Ida.”

According to Hopewell Township Police Chief James Rosso, the township’s Communication Center is the lifeline for Hopewell Valley.

“Whether calling the police department, dialing 9-1-1, or stopping at the station, the community and those traveling through are greeted by one of our highly-trained professional dispatchers,” he said. “They are essential pieces of the puzzle; where information and directions are provided 24 hours a day as well as dispatching quick and efficient emergency response to those in need.”

Rosso noted that the grant will give Hopewell Township the ability to update an aging room and outdated 9-1-1 system.

“The addition of the next generation 9-1-1 system will be at the forefront of the renovation, making it a state-of-the-art communications center,” he said.

The police department employs six full-time civilian dispatchers. The dispatchers work in rotating shifts providing 24-hour coverage, according to the police department.

Dispatchers coordinate communication on major incidents or complicated emergency calls, officials said.

“[The township’s Office of Emergency Management] OEM will be working closely with the police department as we modernize the communication center to best serve our community during all types of emergencies and streamline communication, not only between Hopewell Valley agencies but with the rest of the county and beyond,” said David Berez, coordinator of Hopewell Township’s OEM.

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