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Norwich police officers say police radio system prevents clear communication

NORWICH -- "They can't hear each other," said Reverend Charles Tyree.

He's the volunteer chaplain for the Norwich police department. He's been on countless ride-alongs with police officers and witnessed first hand how faulty their radio system can be.

"The system was installed in the late 1940's. So most of our radio system is more than 70 years old. And it's not reliable," said Rev. Tyree.

Officers said their current system regularly fails which can pose a threat to officers and community members. A recent example happened in 2013 when former officer Jonathan Ley was shot during an active shooter incident.

"We sent the command vehicle there. We were trying desperately to get messages back and forth. We could not hear each other on the radio. So we had to send a messenger, a runner with messages back and forth from the scene to the command vehicle," said Rev. Tyree.

The department is now taking steps to fix this problem.

On November 6th question number three will be on the ballot. It will ask residents to vote for a $2.7 million radio system that will bring the current one up-to-date.

Norwich residents will have to foot the bill for this issue. It will cost residents no more than $14 a year over the next five years.

Officer said this issue will not only improve the safety for police but also residents.

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