Governor Cuomo announces $29 million in grant funding to assist counties with improving emergency communications

Up to the Minute

From the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $29 million in grant funding has been awarded to Chenango, Putnam, St. Lawrence, Ulster and Wyoming Counties to improve local emergency communication. This funding will support a variety of projects including the construction of new radio towers, securing and updating existing infrastructure, as well as upgrades to local 911 call centers. Investments will improve the ability to communicate critical information during emergency situations locally and enhances public safety in communities statewide. 

“In an emergency situation, just a few seconds can make all the difference in the world,” Governor Cuomo said. “The public safety of our communities relies on swift and seamless communication between local and state agencies, first responders, and residents. That’s why we’re bringing the state’s emergency response infrastructure into the 21st century and arming localities with the tools necessary to respond quickly and protect New Yorkers in times of crisis.”

Commissioner of the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Patrick Murphy said, “Emergency communications services are vital to ensure the safety and well-being of New Yorkers. This funding will help these counties upgrade their communications infrastructure to enhance public safety. We remain committed to helping communities improve their public safety operations by deploying state-of-the-art emergency communications systems around the state.”

Seven counties have already received funding in phase one of the 2018 Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant Program. A list of the five counties receiving awards through the second phase of the targeted grant program is as follows:

  • Chenango County will receive $6,000,000 to build several new communications tower sites, add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies, as well as upgrade the county’s 911 communications center with new equipment to improve monitoring of those multi-jurisdictional communications channels.
  • Putnam County will receive $6,000,000 to add six new communications tower sites and add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies. The new system will enhance communications between Putnam’s emergency services (Fire/EMS), the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, all county municipal departments, school districts and local city, town and village police departments.
  • St. Lawrence County will receive $6,000,000 to upgrade its emergency communications response system. The upgrades will cover the four major areas of the emergency communication response system: site, connectivity, dispatch consoles and radio system. The system will provide public safety grade sites and connectivity which will greatly enhance the robustness of the radio system.
  • Ulster County will receive $6,000,000 to build a new tower and improve the existing towers. The county also will implement new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies and improve dispatching operations at public safety answering points.
  • Wyoming County will receive $5,931,797 to build new towers and improve connectivity to the upstate public safety agencies. Improvements will allow vital communications between Buffalo, Rochester and across the state. The county will also implement additional public safety radio channels to provide improved interoperability and safety.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said, “Emergency communications from east to west, north to south is vital not only within our county but across county and state lines. We can now finalize our communications project that will bring local and regional first responders together creating a seamless statewide system. Our system is designed to truly leverage interoperability allowing police, fire and EMS personnel to have secure and guaranteed communications while incorporating State agencies like the New York State Police, and the MTA Police as well as local municipalities and school districts. This design will allow true interagency communications not only across Putnam County but across New York State. This is a great win for not only Putnam County but the entire region!”

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said, “Our ability to respond adequately to New Yorkers in crisis relies directly on our ability to communicate quickly, clearly and in real-time and these communications’ infrastructure and emergency response upgrades do just that. I’m proud to work in partnership with the State on implementing these essential updates to better secure the safety of all neighborhoods and the entire state.”

St. Lawrence County Administrator Ruth Doyle said, “The safety of county residents is a top priority. The funding provided through this grant will support state-of-the-art upgrades that will undeniably improve the ability for St. Lawrence County to respond to emergencies and ensure our talented Dispatch Team can get the appropriate help needed in times of crisis. We thank the Governor for his continued support and commitment to public safety and emergency preparedness.”

Chenango County Board of Supervisors Chairman George Seneck said, “This grant will provide a significant upgrade to emergency communications in Chenango County. These funds will enable the county to strengthen its emergency communications capabilities between multiple jurisdictions and agencies that all help support our citizens. Additionally we will use part of these funds to upgrade the county’s 911 communications center, which plays a critical role in assisting the public in an emergency.”

Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Rebecca Ryan said, “This funding will allow us to make the critical upgrades necessary to ensure we are prepared for any threat to our public safety.  We thank the Governor for granting localities the resources to upgrade these vital technologies in order to better serve the people of our great county.”

State Interoperable Communications Grant

The grant has awarded more than $500 million to 57 counties and New York City since 2010. The program has allowed counties to make vital improvements in the way first responders can communicate between each other and different regions of the state using land mobile radio systems. This includes expanding radio coverage by installing new equipment at towers and antenna sites, implementing Next Generation 911 technologies and standards, setting up communication channels among public safety radio systems, consolidating emergency services dispatch centers, supporting the operations of public safety dispatch centers and deploying new technology that helps counties link their systems together. Additionally, this funding supports training and exercises to promote efficient inter-regional communications, cooperation and overall first responder readiness.

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism, natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News