Broward reverses course and looks to put radio tower in Hollywood park

There are plenty of crossed fingers in Broward County hoping another major police incident doesn’t occur before a new public safety radio system starts operating. But time is slipping away as the county struggles to nail down the final details.

Commissioners have been criticized for not moving faster to replace the county’s old and overloaded system — a system that was crippled during the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting in 2017 and the Parkland school shooting last year.

The new system would help police and firefighters responding to 911 calls, improving their ability to transmit and receive messages anywhere in the county, including in schools, condominiums and hospitals. It will also be able to handle more traffic, so police at a major crime scene aren’t having to resort to using hand signals to communicate or aren’t able to get an open line to dispatchers.

The most recent stumbling block the county has faced is where to put a Hollywood antenna needed for the system. The city wants the antenna placed on top of the Circ downtown apartment high rise, where it will be less conspicuous than erecting a 325-foot tower in West Lake Park.

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