Hopewell Township officials and dignitaries came together to celebrate the grant the township received from the state to make improvements to the township’s 911 Dispatch Center.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-15), Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-15), and County Commissioner Kristin McLaughlin visited the township on Nov. 29.
Hopewell Township Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning, Township Committee members Kevin Kuchinski, David Chait, and Uma Purandare, Police Chief James Rosso, Fire Chief Matt Martin, members of the police department, and members of Township staff welcomed the state legislators and McLaughlin, according to Hopewell Township.
Coughlin said that it was a joy to be able to see first-hand how the money is being used at the local level, helping communities solve real problems.
“I think the municipal level is the most important level (of government) in people’s lives,” he said. “History teaches us how critically important places like this are as we face (future) super storms.”
Coughlin further said, “you couldn’t ask for two better advocates (Reynolds-Jackson and Verrelli). They are very effective, relentless when advocating for funds for the community.”
Hopewell Township’s 911 Dispatch Center is open around the clock and is responsible for routing aid for the entire Hopewell Valley, including the boroughs.
Rosso noted the Center receives upwards of 26,000 calls per year.
“The Dispatch Center is the lifeline of the community. We are trying to keep up with
technology,” he said, so now we “have the opportunity to get into the next generation of
Peters-Manning also expressed great appreciation for the grant.
“Upgrading these facilities is overwhelming on a small municipal budget, so we can’t thank you all enough for this investment in our community,” she said.
In 2021, when the area was hit with Hurricane Ida, Hopewell Valley directly experienced just how important proper communications between the various first responders is, according to a township press release.
During the hours of the storm, the Dispatch Center received over 400 911 calls and several hundred calls to the police department’s non-emergency line.
Stranded residents were helped and lives were saved. The first responders were heroic in their efforts, officials said.
The improvements on the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center will allow improvements to the systems that locate residents in need, pinpointing them to the very room they are in, and relaying that specific information to the police, fire department, and EMS (emergency medical services), to provide aid, according to the township.