Parsippany’s Construction of New Monopole Tower Begins Final Phase of Modernizing Emergency Communication

Chief Andrew Miller and Mayor Soriano Look on as Cement is Laid at Monopole Base

PARSIPPANY — Police, Office of Emergency Management, and telecommunications specialists from Motorola were on hand at Volunteers Park to begin the final construction of a new monopole communication tower to modernize the township’s emergency dispatch and communication systems.

The monopole will be 183 feet tall, 3 feet wide at the base, and 18 inches wide at the top.

The project is four years in the making and will be owned and operated by the township.

The tower will be operational by the third week in September, fully functional and tested by early December, and will go live on January 1, 2021.

The monopole construction marks the final phase of the township’s upgraded communication capabilities, connecting antennas at Pomeroy Road, The Parsippany Water Tank, Police Headquarters, and at Powder Mill.

These locations and heights were all chosen due to the changes in typography throughout the township, and to eliminate any possible “dead zones” in radio communication. With the new system in place, the Township will assume management of all local emergency dispatch, cutting costs, and reducing response time.

“This is a higher quality communication system than what we have, both for signal strength and coverage,” said Police Chief Andrew Miller. “In the past, we’d have separate communication of EMS and Fire Departments, which would be relayed through dispatch in Morris County. Now everybody can speak directly. There’s no relaying necessary, no delays or complications, the signal is shorter and clearer, which will improve response time and coordination efforts.”

When completed the project will create revenue-generating potential for the township, thanks to numerous unused and open frequency ranges that could be leased to other towns and emergency dispatches in the region.

Workers Lay Concrete at Veterans Park for New Monopole Antenna in Parsippany

Parsippany currently pays The Morris County Communication Center over $200,000 per year to manage the township’s emergency dispatch, which will cease at the end of this year.

The project began seven years ago when The Police Department determined that there were unknown interference and dead zones that could compromise the integrity of emergency communication in town and be a potential safety issue for residents.

After working with the Federal Communications Commission, it was determined that the system needed major upgrades and replacement. “This project started with public safety in mind,” said Mayor Michael Soriano. “When we have an emergency in Parsippany, we must have the ability to connect all departments – Department of Public Works, Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and so forth – on one emergency frequency. This is a tremendous benefit to facilitate communication and response, quickly and effectively.”