Consolidating dispatch police services
Consolidation models Consolidation, traditionally defined, typically translates to smaller jurisdictions contracting their emergency dispatch needs out to a larger county or regional comm. But many other types of consolidation exist and are popular with agencies, such as co-location and centralization, said Shawn Messinger, a police consultant with Priority Dispatch Corp. Co-location involves separate agencies or agency divisions sharing a comm.
Potential benefits of consolidation might include budget savings based on commensurate reductions in staff, infrastructure, equipment, and other factors; improved and faster communications and coordination between agencies and agency partners; and access to more advanced emergency communications systems, technology, and standardized protocols that help eliminate mistakes.In the face of tough economic times, jurisdictions have increasingly sought after ways to pool resources and eliminate redundancies.That has led agencies and government entities to consolidate comm.“The consolidation process poses numerous challenges, however, from operation, governance, funding, and technical perspectives,” CSRIC also states in its final report, Key Findings and Effective Practices for Public Safety Consolidation.The following sections will look at both the advantages and disadvantages of consolidation and identify ways with which agencies and jurisdictions can analyze how consolidation might specifically benefit them rather than asking public safety officials and decision makers to simply take a leap of faith.The emergency communications needs of each agency and the jurisdictions it serves can differ greatly based on a variety of factors.
Though most jurisdictions seek to give residents the highest level of 9-1-1 dispatch center services that are reasonably affordable, some view consolidation as ceding too much power to the contracting agency and have concerns about the quality of service to residents that a merger would bring about.
center because they’re right there,” Dornseif said. centers can have a pod of dispatchers dedicated to funnel calls about that event.” Similarly, centralization, sometimes referred to as backroom centralization, is when expensive communications systems and equipment are shared between two or more agencies at a single location to reduce costly capital redundancies.
Though dispatch center consolidation is not a new concept, it is one whose implementation was impeded until more recently due to a lack of requisite technology, Messinger said.
Perhaps some of the most significant pushback to consolidation comes from decision makers’ sense of a loss of local control and a potential decrease in the quality of service residents might receive.
Other considerations that hit too close to home may include staff concerned about how a proposed consolidation will affect their seniority and retirement benefits, Dornseif said.
you set up a Google Alert for the terms “9-1-1” or “9-1-1 dispatch,” you’ll get a daily volley of Internet links to, in large part, the most recent news reports related to the emergency dispatch industry.