On January 13, a 140-foot tower was raised on Martha’s Vineyard — one of five on the Island — to improve emergency communications, according to Sheriff Robert Ogden. The Vineyard Gazette reported that in October 2019, the sheriff’s department received a $1.7 million grant from the Massachusetts E911 Department for the tower.
“It’s huge for the Island; this really marks the first brick-and-mortar piece of material that is being developed for the system.
We’re so proud of it, it’s going to revolutionize E911 communications on Martha’s Vineyard,” Sheriff Ogden told the Gazette.
The new system will use five different sites that connect a point-to-point system, the sheriff explained. Each tower is integral in supporting the neighboring towers if one were to go down, reported the Gazette.
The tower is not yet live as it’s not equipped with the necessary hardware. Verizon Wireless needs to construct two, three-foot-wide dishes on the Pennywise Path cell tower, and the first responder radio units need to be updated. The tower is expected to be fully operational by spring.
According to the sheriff, negotiations with Verizon could be tough, but he said talks are underway to reach terms. “This is public safety . . . We just need amicable terms,” he said.
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