By Noreen Marcus, FloridaBulldog.org
A stalled tower project in a Hollywood park is blocking a fully functional 911 radio system for Broward – nearly four years after the Parkland school massacre created an urgent need for an upgrade.
First responders who demanded a reliable, countywide radio network got almost all they wanted when 15 sites went live last December. But the 911 radio coverage for southeastern coastal Broward still lags, Mike Moser, spokesperson for the Fire Chiefs Association of Broward County, acknowledged in an interview with Florida Bulldog.
“The delay is frustrating,” Moser said. “However, looking forward, now that this [West Lake Park] site is going to happen, we’re excited that the system will be working as it’s designed.”
The delay has many causes, both natural and political. The COVID-19 pandemic put everything on hold. But a big factor has been politics, in particular, county leadership’s hard-ball tactics that finally succeeded at placing the tower in Hollywood’s West Lake Park, a green and watery oasis with a lot of vocal protectors.
“Broward County is trying to make an example of the city,” Marlin Muller, a Miami lawyer who once represented the “Save West Lake Park” group, told Florida Bulldog last year. “The part I’ve always found mind-blowing is how hellbent the county is on making sure not just that they win, but that they punish the city on an epic level for not doing what they’re told.”