News : Future of Newark 911 Center Up to Council Vote
Newark, OH, Sept 21, 2015 -- The future of Newark’s 9-1-1 call center is in question as Newark City Council will take a vote to consolidate the police department’s call center at Monday night’s council meeting.
Newark Director of Public Safety William Spurgeon says, "We currently have a system that is in desperate need of upgrading. We don’t have modernized technology that so many other entities enjoy."
Spurgeon explains the move will save the City of Newark residents more than $300,000 per year. In the process, the city will not have to pay for expensive technology upgrades.
Local AFSCME president Lew Shumaker told Newark City Council the city has already spent tens of thousands of dollars on this upgraded technology. She also says dispatchers with more than 100 years of combined experienced could lose their jobs.
Spurgeon said emergency fire calls are already handled by the Licking County 9-1-1 call center and it has been a smooth process. Sprugeon says all displaced dispatchers would be highly considered for newly created dispatcher positions with Licking County.
Licking County EMA and Regional 9-1-1 Call Center director says Newark residents should not notice a difference if consolidation does happen. Grady adds, "They shouldn’t see any change whatsoever."
In fact, Spurgeon says emergency response times might marginally decrease.
The local AFSCME union has already announced it will pursue arbitration with the city if this consolidation vote is passed by Newark City Council.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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The Municipal Council is the legislative branch of government for Newark, New Jersey.
Published: Thursday, September 24, 2015