Dispatch centers in Linn County consider consolidating - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dispatch centers in Linn County consider consolidating

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LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -

A study in Linn County is looking into the possibility of combining the three dispatch centers into one. 

Some officials believe having just one dispatch center in the county could help with efficiency and even crack down on response times but it's not a topic everyone agrees on. 

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner says he does not believe consolidating will be cost efficient or in the best interest of public safety. 

Meanwhile Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman is in support of the study and Marion Police Chief Joseph McHale believes it could be more cost- effective to combine. 
    "The money from 911 funds is going to three pies right now Cedar Rapids, Linn County and Marion if you were to take all the money and consolidate it into one center over the long hall in my opinion and what the study will show is it's probably going to be more efficient for us," he says. 

Captain Slagle with the Marion Police Department believes consolidating could cut down on response times because right now calls often get transferred between centers depending on a caller's location. 

"It's sent to the wrong dispatch center and technology is very sensitive and when that happens there is a delay in response times," Slagle says. 

The results of the study should come out in 10-12 weeks helping to highlight some potential benefits and downfalls of having one dispatch center.  
Several other counties in the state already have consolidated dispatch centers including Black Hawk and Dubuque. 

Chief McHale says the state is currently offering incentives for those who choose to consolidate, right now its $200,000 per agency.     

He adds there would potentially be substantial cost involved in a facility for a combined center.
 

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