With a $300,000 grant and the recent selection of a contractor, the City of Peekskill will oversee construction of the first municipal WiFi system in Westchester County to serve the needs of police, fire, water and sewer, and other city departments. The network is expected to be completed over the summer and is being constructed so employees can perform certain aspects of their jobs more efficiently, according to city officials.
“This WiFi system has real practical applications that can help us save time and tax dollars. As budgets continue to shrink, we have to find more effective ways to use technology to provide efficient, quality municipal services to residents and business owners. This is a major step forward in being able to enhance the delivery and performance of a variety of city services,” said Peekskill Mayor Mary F. Foster.
Once in place, the system will allow police, fire fighters, building inspectors DPW crews, water department crews, parks staff and other city personnel to carry out their tasks in the field with access to City Hall records.
Police can monitor cameras from onsite locations in real time, as well as complete reports from their vehicles without having to report to headquarters. Fire personnel en route to and on the scene of a fire, will be able to view layouts of buildings and file reports from their trucks. City Hall employees also will be able to perform inspections, identify street lights and roads that need repair, write up code violations and, in real time, relay the information back to City Hall
The initial capacity will be for secured use by city personnel. Additional capacity is being built into the system to allow at a later date expansion of shared uses by other government entities like the school district. Peekskill received a COPS Technology Program grant for $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice in order to fund and construct the municipal WiFi System. The City also allocated $50,000 in the 2011 Capital Budget towards the project. Conxx recently was awarded the $348,000 contract to build and maintain the system. When completed, the WiFi network is anticipated to cover 80% of the city.