Hopkins Closes City Dispatch Center, Transitions to County Dispatch
Despite a surge in calls just before the transition, police report that the first day using county services went smoothly.
The closure of the city dispatch center was months in the making, and fate, it turns out, wasn’t going to allow the center to slip quietly away.
The Police Department was inundated with calls in the final 15 minutes before the transition at 6 a.m. Tuesday, capping off the center’s run with a burglary and assault call on Oxford.
Despite the final surge in calls, police report that the first day of the transition to county dispatch went well and an upgrade to the computer-aided dispatch system went off without a hitch.
“The transition went very smoothly today. It’s working very well,” Police Capt. Brent Johnson said.
The department will be focusing on dispatch issues for a little bit longer. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, officials gave the department the go-ahead to switch to a new records-management system that will reduce costs and allow it to share information with other communities.
That system should be up by the beginning of October, Johnson said.
Cost reduction was the reason the city switched to county dispatch in the first place. Finance Director Christine Harkess estimates the city will save $332,887 next year compared to what the city would have had to pay if it had maintained its own dispatch center.
With the savings, the budget is 1.26 percent bigger than 2012 under the current plan—instead of the 4.42 percent it would have been without the dispatch change.
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