The Boxborough Police and Fire Departments look after the City of Boxborough, a small town of about 5,000 people in Massachusetts, USA. They provide 24/7 police and fire coverage with the Police Force providing 13 full-time officers, and the Fire Department 29 firefighters.
For many years, Boxborough Police and Fire dealt with older technology for their communications, technology which was unreliable, susceptible to failure and generally just not fit for purpose. In one particular incident, a radio communications failure almost cost Police Chief Warren Ryder his life when he was unable to call for backup. When it was time to install a new communications system, Boxborough had three major concerns: the system had to be open-standard for equipment compatibility, robust enough to handle sub-optimal conditions, and needed to meet their coverage needs in the long-term within budget.
Boxborough reached out to Tait-Harris dealer, ALL-COMM Technologies, who analyzed their needs and suggested a Tait powered* solution from Harris. The Boxborough Fire Department selected an Analog Simulcast over IP (AS-IP) system, while the Police Force chose a P25 LSM Simulcast system, both of which can run on the multi-platform Tait TB9400s. The Tait powered* communication backbone was designed to provide coverage over the difficult topography of the region and for portables and mobiles from different vendors.
The new system has provided several benefits to Boxborough Police and Fire, as well as the community of Boxborough. First, the officers have communications they can rely on – they know that dispatch will hear them, and that they will receive communications from others. Second, audio clarity has increased dramatically – when Boxborough listened to the radio communications of neighboring agencies using older analog equipment, they realized they’ve become spoiled as their ears struggled to adjust back. Last but not least, the ability to monitor and manage their system remotely has been a huge improvement from both a safety and productivity standpoint. With the old system, they had no idea there was a problem until communications were lost, and then they had to start searching to find the cause of the problem. With the new IP connected system, Chief Ryder can log in with his computer and check on the health of the network. If there is a potential issue, they know about it and can fix it early, before communications are lost for the officers. In Chief Ryder’s own words:
“At the end of the day, what’s most important is the lives and safety of not only the employees, but the people we serve. Now we know, without a doubt, that our communications are going out fully and all messages are being received. It’s a great system.”
*Tait Powered Solutions are available exclusively from Harris Corporation in North America.