Chamber Board unanimously supports 9-1-1 Consolidation

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Statement from the Chamber Board:

Chamber Board Unanimously Supports 911 Consolidation
Urges Members to Make the Call

The glass wall that separates the City and County 911 call centers has been a long-standing icon of the inability of the city and county to work together. On Friday, Allen County Commissioners will vote on a proposal to consolidate services, form a seven person board, and take the wall down. For more on the proposal see the Chamber Points below.

The Chamber urges members to contact the Commissioners to express your support for this action! Call (260) 449-7555 or email and tell them you support this initiative for improved, streamlined services and city-county cooperation. Call today!

About the Consolidated City-County 911 Call Center:

  • Proposed 3 year interlocal agreement establishes a joint partnership with a cost sharing structure representative of the volume of calls from the respective areas. (Fort Wayne 70 percent, Allen County 30 percent)
  • Establishes Operations Board of six members (three appointed by the Mayor, three appointed by County Commissioners, one member jointly selected by the sixth).
  • Current City and County dispatch center employees would become partnership employees. The Operations Board would select a benefit package equivalent to the City or County’s. Existing employees would not have a reduction in pay or benefits.
  • The Operations Board will select the agency’s executive director (board has 60 days).
  • The City Controller will handle the accounting for the partnership.
  • The state requires consolidation of E-911 centers by 2014! The law requires consolidation down to 2 centers per County. (Allen County has 3)
  • The agreement requires approval from the Mayor, City Council, Allen County Commissioners, and County Council.
  • A timeline for implementation would be established after approval but could begin merging the departments by the start of 2010.
  • Operations: Calls will basically be routed the same way, although there won’t be “roll-overs” under a consolidated system. Currently, when a call comes in, once a dispatcher knows the location the call is routed.
  • Equipment: The city and county have the same hardware and software. They are both working from an 800mh system, which will need to be upgraded soon.

Why the Chamber Supports:

  • Local Government Reform and consolidation of services have been long-standing, primary goals of the Chamber. 911 consolidation specific initiatives have been on the state legislative agenda for the last decade.
  • For years, the “glass wall” between the city and county dispatch centers has been the icon of the inability of city and county government to work together. The elimination of this wall signifies the possibilities of cooperation.
  • A single emergency dispatch center provides one point of contact for communications, emergency services, and homeland security issues. Less points of contact less risk.
  • The board will force integration among city and county and all public safety, as likely appointments will be Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Sheriff, and other primary users.
  • Many states and areas mandate regional public safety answering points, and consolidation of more than 20 PSAPs. Consolidation of city and county communications should be achieved.
  • This was Mayor Bob Armstrong’s #1 recommendation for making our local government more efficient in 1975! It’s time to do this!


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