Officials in Hillsborough, N.J., have developed a Department of Public Works Watch Program, which comprises 250 employees that report accidents, crimes and suspicious activity through the use of two-way radios.

The new radio system, which costs $7.9 million, will unify the public works, transportation, recycling, and road and bridge departments with the county communications center, which also handles 911 and other emergency calls, according to Michael Amorosa, Somerset County engineer. Amorosa also said that before this network, each county department had been on a separate radio system.

Workers will receive formal training on how to observe, what information to collect and how to effectively relay the message to dispatchers in the communication center.

The new system was modeled after similar programs in Middlesex County and Bernards, N.J.