Wilton emergency radio system decision expected soon

Wilton Police Capt. Thomas Conlan said final decisions are being made on whether the department will join the state system or build its own.

Wilton Police Capt. Thomas Conlan said final decisions are being made on whether the department will join the state system or build its own.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — Officials say a decision on the town’s emergency radio system is expected in the next month.

Earlier this year, Police Chief John Lynch and other town officials mulled the decision of either replacing their emergency radio system with a new, standalone system or joining the state’s system.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderlsice has said a new, standalone system would cost roughly $2.5 million, while joining the state’s system would cost about $4 million. That was at least their initial estimate.

Paul Zito, owner of New England Radio Consultants, has been hired to examine the two options for the communications system.

“Zito is working with the fire department, (who) want a repeated channel,” Wilton Police Capt. Thomas Conlan said Monday at the latest police commission meeting.

Conlan said the fire department only has one channel. If they were to combat a large structure fire, or a multiple-car fire, it would benefit them to have a secondary channel to communicate on either of the proposed options for the emergency radio system.

Conlan suspects a final decision will be made by the next police commission meeting on July 12.

Conlan said the transition process could take “about a year,” pointing out it will require training.

Conlan said since this will be a bonded project, the funds will be released immediately once the decision is made and if approved by voters in September.

“Once voted upon, we can start hiring vendors immediately,” Conlan said. “We don’t have to wait until July.”