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News : Changes Announced for State Police Call Centers
Torrington, CT, USA, May 18, 2015 -- State police at Troops A and B will each resume operation of their own call centers and Troop L will go back to only taking its own troop’s calls under a new plan announced.
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro has completed a comprehensive review of consolidated dispatch centers and outlined a new plan moving forward. The plan, in addition to the previously announced 24/7 barracks coverage and the redirecting of administrative calls back to the troops, calls for:
— Reinstating dispatch and call taking functions at all troops in the Western and Eastern Districts during the first half of Fiscal Year 2016 and continuing dispatch and call taking from each troop in the Central District.
— Specifically, Troops A and B will each resume operation of its own call center in the Western District and Troops D, E, and K will each resume operation of its own call center in the Eastern District. Troop G in the Western District and Troops H, F, and I in the Central District will each continue to operate its own call center.
— Additionally, Troop L in the Western District and Troop C in the Eastern District, the current consolidated call center locations, will each resume taking its respective troop’s calls only.
— To create greater surge capacity, Troops L and C will also be designated as the locations that would handle an influx in calls caused by a catastrophic event and provide critical back-up in the event of a system failure.
"Our State Police Troops are critical to the communities they serve and this plan will yield optimal operational efficiencies at every troop," Schriro said in a release. "These adjustments, coupled with the previous improvements that we put into place, will significantly enhance our dispatch operations. The troops, their towns, local leaders and our stakeholders all contributed to the development of this plan."
The roll out of this plan will coincide with the installation of the state’s new 9-1-1 system and will begin in the coming weeks, with a projected completion date of this fall, according to the release.
Last year, as part of the initial review of dispatch consolidation, Schriro directed the restoration of 24/7 coverage at all state police barracks across the state, keeping the barracks open and accessible to the public around the clock and redirected administrative calls that are not urgent in nature to the local troops for individualized attention. The commissioner also established several standing advisory groups consisting of COST and CCM members and troop personnel.
Schriro’s top to bottom review has included numerous tours of the 11 troops, on-going conversations with sworn and civilian line staff, supervisors and managers and dispatcher family members; meetings with employee bargaining units and its members; meetings with state legislators and local leaders; collection and analysis of data; a tour of the New York City’s 911 call center and consultations with several other states regarding their 911 and dispatching activities, according to the release.
State police call centers across Connecticut were consolidated in 2012. State Police Col. and former DESPP Deputy Commissioner Danny R. Stebbins said at the time that the plan would increase efficiency, while cutting costs and allowing more troopers to act in law enforcement instead of being behind a desk, answering calls.
Stebbins said at the time that the region served by Troop B has low call numbers and fiscally it makes more sense to have troopers patrolling the roads than being stuck behind a desk, maintaining calls and dispatching other troopers.
The cost of a single trooper in the state of Connecticut in 2011 — including salary, benefits, vehicle and fuel privileges — was around $150,000 per year, regardless of whether the trooper is in the field or behind a desk. The cost of having a dispatcher is half that, Stebbins said at the time.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, May 22, 2015