We don’t know what we’re missing about this issue, but it seems careless, at best, that there’s not more urgency on the part of officials at Riverside-Brookfield High School to ensure Riverside police can communicate effectively throughout the school building during emergency situations.
More than a year ago, Riverside police reported that officers encountered “dead zones” inside the high school that prevented their radios from communicating with the Riverside dispatch center.
The concrete and steel construction of some areas, especially the basement, prevent the radios from transmitting effectively, say police. It’s not the radios, it’s the building, they say.
Riverside police have obtained a couple of quotes to install transmitters inside the high school to facilitate radio communication. The first was about $60,000, a figure that more than doubled in early 2016 upon further review.
Riverside sought a federal grant to help defray the cost, but that application was reject ed. In the meantime, school officials appear to want more proof from police that their radio system isn’t the problem and have resisted Riverside’s efforts to chip in to fix the issue.
Now school officials say they’re content to wait until the consolidated dispatch center is up and running to address the problem, which surely won’t go away in the meantime.
The earliest that consolidated dispatch center will go live is March 2018. By then the school will have allowed to continue an emergency communication problem they have known to exist since early 2016.
That’s a heck of a game of Russian roulette.
Riverside officials continue to insist that RBHS board members step up and deal with the problem and last week they reiterated their view publicly. But, so far, there’s no urgency from the high school, which agrees that the village should reapply for the grant and deal with the problem when the consolidated dispatch center is up.