NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — City firefighters are going high-tech—and it’ll cost taxpayers more than $640,000, according to the contracts.
The New Brunswick City Council approved three resolutions last week that paved the way for the purchases of mobile radios, accessories and installation services for the fire department.
City Administrator Thomas Loughlin III said New Brunswick plans to pay for the communications gear from its capital budget. That means the money won’t come directly from the fire department’s annual operating budget.
Each of the three purchasing agreements were made under a contract previously arranged by the state, according to city documents.
The largest contract earmarks $579,379 for the purchase of 24 mobile radios and accessories and 63 portable radios and accessories for city firefighters. The city struck that deal with Motorola Solutions of Woodcliff Lake.
New Brunswick is also slated to pay $42,500 for the installation of communication equipment in the dispatch office to Zetron Inc., a Washington state-based company.
Finally, a $19,640 contract with Tactical Public Safety of West Berlin will arm the fire department with five XG-75 mobile radios and accessories. That company is an authorized dealer of products made by Harris Corporation, which manufactures the specialized radios.
During last week’s council meeting, one resident praised the purchases but said the city should consider spending money on body cameras for the police department.
City officials said police would need to make that request.
Police have explored buying body cameras for a couple of years. One roadblock seems to be the extra costs associated with digital storage and services, officials have said.