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Loud and clear

Troop G’s COMSEC center up, running and covering entire Capital District

Staff Sgt. Timothy Morris (pictured above at podium) and Troop G Commander, Major Steven James, discuss the new Communications Section of Troop G’s new trooper barracks Wednesday,
Oct. 23.

Staff Sgt. Timothy Morris (pictured above at podium) and Troop G Commander, Major Steven James, discuss the new Communications Section of Troop G’s new trooper barracks Wednesday, Oct. 23. Photo by Billy DeLap.

New York State troopers are now keeping in contact and responding to emergencies using a new, state-of-the-art communication center at Troop G’s recently finished barracks in Latham.

On Wednesday, Oct. 23. The New York State troopers gave a peek into the finished communication section (COMSEC) at the Troop G headquarters on Route 7 in Latham, which has been open for nearly a year. Beforehand, communications were being handled through the troop’s old barracks in Loudonville. Troop G is responsible for covering a 10-county area.

Staff Sgt. Timothy Morris, the COMSEC member in charge, said it took troopers a little longer to get up and running in the new space because of the need for new software and upgrades.

The radio system is being transferred from a radio wave to a digital microwave. When this is complete, police will be able to talk to the Department of Transportation Upstate, which will help them talk to road crews and help get roads cleared.

Forty-two employees, including DOT employees, will be utilizing the COMSEC room, which measures approximately 3,200 square feet. Those employees monitor 40 traffic cameras on all the major highways and roadways in the area. They are also able to track and locate trooper vehicles while they are in the field. The DOT employees can also remotely access highway signs to alert drivers of accidents, road closures or inclement weather.

“One thing that OGS (the Office of General Services) and the State Police really allowed us to do with this building is think for tomorrow. Everything within the facility and outside it is all leading-edge technology,” Morris said. “We were able to go out and source state contracted vendors that were looking at technology for tomorrow.”

The building is self sustaining, meaning that in case of power outages or catastrophic weather the facility can run on its own power, Internet and other communication systems. It is also set up in a way that the room could be expanded to bring other agencies to help on projects or if the building has lost power.

The COMSEC room contains the only next-generation 911 system in New York state. When the federal government approves that system, troopers will be able to accept text messages, videos and still images.

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