At the Walden Village Board meeting last Tuesday night, Police Chief Jeffry Holmes proposed a new radio frequency band to be used by the department.
The proposed band is the 700 MHz Band. This frequency is able to penetrate buildings and walls easily and can cover large geographic areas with less infrastructure. The 700 MHz spectrum would allow the Walden Police Department to interact with all first responders in the event of a major accident. Holmes noted that several local towns such as Mt. Hope and Highlands use the 700 MHz effectively.
“For the people who do have the system, it’s working well,” he said.
Chief Holmes also proposed new equipment to the board. This includes two new base stations, seven new mobile radios and 19 new portable radios. The equipment is valued at $87,767. The Walden Village Board has yet to sign an agreement approving the new radio spectrum or the updated equipment.
In addition, Chief Holmes discussed his displeasure to the village board about cutting back on dispatchers. The board is thinking about relying on 911 for certain shifts, specifically during the early hours of the morning.
Holmes noted that dispatchers are essential. They handle walk-in complaints and file paperwork to county and district attorneys. In addition, the dispatchers monitor people inside prison cells at the station.
“We have to seriously think about all of the services that 911 won’t be able to do that we have right now,” Holmes said.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the village board also accepted Walden’s comprehensive plan. The plan received little public comment and was praised by residents and board members alike.
“We did put a lot of time in,” said Village Trustee John Ramos. “The comprehensive plan is a living, breathing document. If we see at any time during the year that there’s a need to correct it or to facilitate an action, we will do our due diligence at the board to address it.”