Faulty Radios Pose Problems for Waterbury Police

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    NBCConnecticut.com

    Waterbury police radios have been malfunctioning since the department upgraded the system a few months ago, and some worry this will interfere with officers' ability to do their job.

    “It could be catastrophic to the officers and to the public,” said Jeff Hamel, vice president of the Police Union.

    Officers haven’t been able to clearly communicate with dispatchers, so if they are on a dangerous call, it might be tough to get backup when time is of the essence.

    “If the officers not safe obviously the public's not safe,” Hamel said.

    The union sent a letter to the Waterbury Police Chief, asking that officers patrol in pairs until the radio problems get fixed.

    “We want to protect our people,” Hamel said.

    Deputy Police Chief Chris Corbett said two officers are always sent to high risk calls, and the department had a few backup call systems in place.

    “It is serious it’s a high priority for us,” said.

    Corbett said the goal was to make sure the radios stopped malfunctioning and that the department had been working with a contractor to resolve the issue. He said there had been significant progress in the last few weeks.

    “I’m confident the system will be 100 percent,” Corbett said.

    Police department officials could not provide a specific time frame as to when the radios will be fixed, but said repairs are almost done.