Would joining the State Police regional 9-1-1 dispatch be a better deal than continuing to operate its own 9-1-1 dispatch center? Tuesday Night the Menominee County Board was presented with the reasons to consider that option, as J Walding reports..
At a presentation from the State of Michigan to The Menominee County Board Tuesday night regarding consolidation of 911 services, Brian McEachern from the State of the E-911 dispatch center outlined the options for Menominee County and proposed dispatching for the state out of Negaunee, from which 5 other counties are currently being dispatched. He said the myth of inability to smoothly dispatch services in a community that operators don't live in is impractical & outdated with today’s technology, and the E-911 center operates dependably every day for the 5 counties is serves. In review of preliminary numbers for handling the size of Menominee County, he says they can easily handle it. The state currently has five Motorola MCC7500 consoles, operating 4 networked units with a 5th as a backup. Asked if there were any pitfalls with multiple counties usng one dispatch center, McEachern replied no, that this is simply a better system. Costwise, McEachern estimated a $200,000 a year contract for Menominee County. Over a five year period, around 2 million dollar savings would be realized. Commisionner John Nelson had this to say:
“A 636 THOUSAND DOLLAR NUMBER WAS PASSED ON A PASSIVE EQUIVALENT, WITH NO ACCOUNTING, NO COST OVERRIDES INVOLVED. THIS HAS NOW OPENED PANDORA’S BOX, AND THAT’S WHAT IT’S DONE!!”
The County Board did not vote on any decisions regarding the purchase of a new 911 console, or the option of joining E-911 and having the state dispatch take it over. Commissioners were in agreement that a lot of research still needed to be done before any decisions were made.