TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Trenton’s emergency radio system is in danger of going silent come Sunday night. It’s because of a growing feud between the mayor and the city council president.
CBS3 is told that if you have an emergency you will be able to call 9-1-1, but the problem comes once police or fire response. They may not be able to communicate with each other.READ MORE: First Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Reported In Philadelphia, New Jersey
The city owes its emergency radio provider $200,000, but Mayor Reed Gusciora says the city council president, Kathy McBride, is refusing to pay the bill.
Now, Mercer County is loaning the city over 130 handheld radios. The mayor says that’s not enough for all of the city’s first responders to have one.
He adds that could put first responders at risk when on high-risk calls.
Trenton has been using its current system since 2013, so the mayor went to city council with a $4 million plan to purchase a new radio system.
The money would come from the American Rescue Plan, but the council president killed the idea, saying the mayor didn’t give the council necessary information like the quality, age, and service life of the new equipment.READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Delaware County Firefighter Has Mortgage Fully Paid Off
CBS3 spoke with the mayor and a councilman, who is a retired cop, about their concerns.
“It’s not optimum. It’s still, you know, there’s going to be a lot of gaps because you know officers have to literally hand their radios in, they may not be charged. They’ll have to go out on an emergency,” the mayor said.
Councilman George Muschal adds that this involves people’s lives.
“It’s coming down to a radio system that’s libel to cost somebody’s life and it’s too late to bring it back when you said we made a big mistake,” Muschal said.
The city is going to court to stop the radio systems from being turned off, but the mayor admits that could be a losing battle.MORE NEWS: Mother Of Ahmir Jones, Teen Killed Protecting Girlfriend During Robbery Near Temple University, Speaks Out
CBS3 did reach out to the council president, but she has yet to respond.