Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Mt. Juliet Police Department will go live with a new communications system Friday afternoon. The new system will replace older, outdated technology that did not provide adequate coverage for emergency responders within Mt. Juliet’s city limits. Mt. Juliet is the first city in Wilson County to move to a digital, P25 compliant interoperable communications system. Emergency responders in Mt. Juliet will now have the ability to clearly speak to each other with a push of a button, which was a dream that began in October of 2011.
Serious incidents led up to the dream where it was obvious that the older, outdated communications system wasn’t adequate anymore. During one incident, a reserve police officer suffered a heart attack and had to crawl back to his patrol vehicle to call for help because his portable radio could not transmit. Prior to that incident, officers pursued armed robbery suspects slightly into Metro-Nashville and ended up chasing the suspects on foot. Officers did not have the ability to speak to dispatch nor communicate with Metro-Nashville Police during the chase.
In late 2011, after city commissioners approved more than $1,200,000.00 for the new system, Motorola Solutions was tasked with the upgrade. During the planning stages, it was important for Mt. Juliet Police project managers to ensure officers and firefighters would continue to have the ability to speak with other law enforcement and emergency management partners within the area, and the new system has complete interoperability capabilities. To save on cost, a partnership and interlocal agreement was established with Metro-Nashville government and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. Mt. Juliet’s radio infrastructure is controlled by Metro-Nashville’s much larger system, and tower space is leased from Middle Tennessee Electric.
“One of our main priorities was to ensure our emergency responders had adequate communications so they could respond and deal with incidents effectively,” stated Police Chief James Hambrick. “It’s exciting to see this project come to fruition, and I am thankful for the support from our city leaders who understand our mission of protecting such a great community.”
Mt. Juliet Police will starting operating on the new system around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 27. The new system will come online just in time before Mt. Juliet’s new fire department begins operations on Monday, September 30. A system dedication ceremony will be held in late October.