Trenton, NJ (Mercer) At Thursday’s docket review, Council President Kathy McBride pulled a critical Resolution authorizing the expenditure of $4-million from the American Rescue Plan fund to replace the city’s radio system, which does not meet current public safety standards. Previously, Council tabled a Resolution to pay the city’s current police and fire radio-system vendor, MPS Communications, of Trenton, the $218,418 due and owing to the company for services rendered to Trenton municipal government. The city has a new vendor ready to come online.
President McBride’s shortsighted and reckless action places in immediate danger more than 80,000 city residents, as MPS Communications will shut off the city’s radio system at midnight on October 31st. That means the Trenton Police Department, Trenton Fire and Emergency Services, including TEMS, and Trenton Water Works emergency personnel will lack the ability to dispatch emergency services to responders in the field. Shutting the system off will also subject police officers and firefighters to substantial risk due to a lack of expeditious communication.
I am appealing today to President McBride to reverse her decision—to put the Resolution back on the Council docket to be voted on by the seven-member legislative body. I am calling on her Council colleagues to intervene immediately to convince Council President McBride to put the residents of Trenton first, as is our responsibility as elected officials. And I am calling on residents to flood the City Clerk’s office at (609) 989-3187 with pleas for the Council President McBride to come to her senses.
Despite what Council President McBride erroneously believes about MPS Communications, including the overall performance of the radio system, which functions according to established parameters, this is not the time for politics and misplaced hostility. Council President McBride’s action not only exposes the city to additional, expensive litigation, but it also endangers the lives of our residents, our children, our seniors, our properties, everyone.
We will probably end up in Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson’s courtroom to halt this recklessness. But as we prepare for that eventuality, I have to take action to protect our residents.