New Jersey department to go cellular

(FREEHOLD, N.J.) -- Borough Council was presented with a proposal by the police department on Nov. 21 to purchase cellular telephones. Nextel will provide the police department with digital cellular telephones with a plan of 200 minutes a month for each telephone. The coverage will provide police with a much clearer communication and a more security, said Police Chief Michael Beierchschmitt.

One of the features the cellular telephones will have is a closed-band communication between two people or an entire group, which will eliminate the need for channel guards. Police will also be able to interface with federal organizations such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service right from the crime scene instead of waiting for headquarters to do it for an officer from a walkie-talkie, officials said.

"You can't go to Radio Shack to decipher what we're saying," Bellina said. "It's a much more sophisticated system."

Bellina said he and the chief were able to speak clearly with people in Connecticut using the Nextel cellular telephone.

"It was very clear and simple to use," he said.

Capt. J. Michael DiAiso said the radio communications the police department currently uses is a high-frequency band radio mounted into a piece of plywood.

"What we have right now is a makeshift radio," he said. "(The cellular telephones) will be a stop-gap."

Joseph B. Bellina, the borough's business administrator, said the new communication tools will be paid by through the law enforcement fund. The cellular telephones and the equipment for them will cost $1,000. It will cost $ 6,000 annually to run it, Bellina said.

Councilman Richard Daesner said any technology that will aid the police in doing their job better should be made accessible to them.

(iSyndicate; Asbury Park Press; Nov. 22, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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