The Southold Town Board approved a $15,000 upgrade for the police department’s phone system at its meeting Tuesday night, which the town’s technology manager said would ultimately save the town money.
The upgrade request wasn’t included in the budget for this year, but needed to be done now because of a last-minute decision by Suffolk County to switch over 911 systems this spring, said Lloyd Reisenberg, the town network and systems administrator.
The town’s current 911 system and phone bank uses wiring from a Verizon-run system, to which the town no longer subscribes. The town now uses Lightpath, which charges a service fee to link the police department’s phone system to the 911 system.
The county is now in the process of switching over to a new 911 system and is offering to hook up town and municipality police departments into the network free of charge, Mr. Reisenberg said.
He said now would be the best time to switch over the department’s aging phone system to an in-house option, since it would not only save the town money on hookup fees later on, but would also allow the Town Board to avoid maintenance costs and service fees related to Lightpath.
“Quite frankly, we weren’t aware of this opportunity to go up to a new phone system,” said Police Chief Martin Flatley.
Mr. Reisenberg said the new phone system will be the same one used across all town departments; the town currently has a different phone system in each department, making it hard to transfer calls, he added.
Credit: The town’s current call center. (Credit: Chris Lisinski, file)