ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- When Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco helped break the ground of a new backup communications room on Monday, it was the beginning of a long-awaited project.
The 3,500 square foot, $3 million center, being built behind the Sheriff's Department headquarters in New City, will be capable of doing everything that the county's primary radio room at the Fire Training Center in Pomona can do.
That includes dispatching 911 calls, fire calls, calls for the state police, calls for EMS, and maintaining the entire infrastructure of the Rockland County Public Safety Emergency Radio system.
But the real importance of the new state-of-the-art center is that in the event the main control center goes down, there will be a back-up not only for the Sheriff's Office but surrounding towns and cities as well, said Sheriff Falco.
"We were the second in the country to get such a system behind Detroit," Falco said. "When Detroit's only system went down and they couldn't dispatch any services for over an hour I knew we needed a backup."
That when he went to work with state and local officials including Rockland County Executive Ed Day and the Rockland County Legislature to find the funding for the building.
"This project that will make every single person in Rockland County safer, including all of our first responders," said Day who helped push the project through. "It will be a crucial component of our public safety system."
Day noted that Gordon Wren, director of the Rockland County Office of Fire and Emergency Services and Adam Feuer, chief of the Communications Division of the Sheriff's Department, have been developing the project for years.
Falco said the building will be in use continuously for training and when any town or city police department's communications system goes down, as well as their own.
"I want to thank the County Executive and the Legislature for helping make this come to fruition," Falco said. "It has been a real mission to get this done."
Construction is due to be completed in the spring.
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