The Board of Selectmen Monday night unanimously approved the installation of a new communications console at the Darien Police Department.

The board also passed a motion to make a recommendation to the Board of Finance to fund the $250,000 project.

Selectwoman Linda Santarella called the issue a "no-brainer."

"The fact that we can transfer it to the new building when that project is done is a positive," she said.

The current communications console has been in use by the police department since the 1980s, according to Police Chief Duane Lovello.

"The technology is very dated and we have been advised by Motorolla that they will no longer provide support for the consoled after Dec. 31 of this year," Lovello said. "While it's not an emergency that they be replaced immediately, should we have a catastrophic event, we'd be in trouble."

The console is located on the ground floor of the police headquarters.

"It's basically what you use to dispatch fire, police and EMS for the whole town of Darien," Lovello said. "An operator sits at the console, and he or she is surrounded by a bank of buttons and radio equipment."

The project was originally slated to cost $400,000, but the cost has been whittled down because of budget constraints, Lovello said.

"It's not that it's only going to cost $250,000," he said. "We sat down with a Motorolla representative and tried to get it down to a point when we got only the equipment that we needed immediately. The remaining balance will take place with the renovation of the building.

"With the building renovations, there will be more additions, like a new antenna at headquarters," Lovello said. "To do that now would require a lot of structural changes to headquarters, so it seemed foolish to do that before a major renovation."

All upgrades performed on the console as the result of this project will be fully transferable to a new location when the police department is renovated.