UPDATE: Regional Emergency Services a Growing Trend
Pepper Pike City Council approves plan to move dispatch to Beachwood
We are hearing about more and more cities joining forces to cut costs on emergency services.
Pepper Pike could move its emergency dispatch services to the Beachwood Police Department, said Police Chief Mark Sechrist.
“The beauty of this one is that we’re going to be able to do this and maintain the same level service for everyone,” Sechrist added.
Pepper Pike would cover the costs of three more dispatchers in Beachwood, and the departments would share the equipment and computers in the Beachwood dispatch center.
Pepper Pike’s dispatch staff of three is not large enough to cover the phones 24/7.
One city could be busy while another is quiet, Sechrist said, so by putting everyone in the same room, the cities will see better service.
Mayor Merle Gorden said the move would “enhance both of our positions.”
The move is expected to be complete before July 1, he said.
“It is a trend, and consolidation is a good thing economically,” said Sechrist, “but you have to make sure that when you consolidate services you’re not hurting the residents.”
Pepper Pike approved a measure to negotiate the switch at a recent council meeting at a cost of $20,000 a month, according to the Sun News, and Pepper Pike Police Chief Jack Crivel called Beachwood's "the Cadillac of dispatch centers."
Beachwood is already considering a regional dispatch center, and next door, Shaker Heights and University Heights are discussing consolidating their fire departments.
The Beachwood Police Department is waiting to hear about a grant they applied for as part of the Eastside Departments Group Enforcement (EDGE). The grant would award EDGE $100,000 to study the possibility of taking part in a regional dispatch center.
EDGE includes Beachwood, Shaker Heights, University Heights, Euclid and South Euclid.
Do you think cutting costs with these kinds of regional plans is a smart move? Tell us in the comments!