County Looks To Streamline Dispatch Services


The St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Center is where dispatchers handle all incoming 911 calls as well as calls made to the sheriff's department and state police.

Municipalities with their own police departments such as Gouverneur, Potsdam, Canton, Ogdensburg and Massena, have their own dispatchers to handle calls and complaints.

But county officials are hoping to secure a $50,000 state grant to look at consolidating all dispatch services into a centralized location.
"We don't know if that's going to be feasible. We don't even know if it's going to be beneficial. That's what the study is for," said Emergency Services Director Joe Gilbert.

The feasibility study will not only look at the economic feasibility of pooling local police and emergency dispatching into a centralized system at one location, but will also look at staffing, space requirements and equipment needs.
While there may be some resistance to a standardized central dispatching system, whether there will be any savings to the county and local municipalities with police agencies won't be known until the study is complete.
"It's a good time to be looking at this. It's a good time to have that discussion, find out where some of the agencies fall with the whole thing and maybe how we could all do something a little bit different not only for cost savings, but just overall efficiency," said Sheriff Kevin Wells.

County officials say if the grant is approved for the feasibility study it would take several months before any recommendations are brought forward.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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