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News : Ottawa County, Miami PD Work Toward Integrated Call Center
Ottawa County, OK, USA, Sept, 2018 -- If you live in Ottawa County Oklahoma, you could get help from officers faster after you call 911.
Ottawa County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd: "Since I've come into office in 2016, it's been a goal of mine to combine dispatch forces."
Right now, there are two dispatch centers in Ottawa County -- one at the Miami Police Department, and the other at the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.
Valerie Barger, Miami PD Dispatch Manager:"The only law enforcement agency that we do not dispatch for in Ottawa county is Ottawa county, and we push those 911 calls."
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Once that call is pushed to Ottawa county, the same information has to be collected before a responder can be sent out.
Floyd: "There is a little bit of distance there and we'd kind of like to scale that back to just talk to one person and get that call out immediately."
The Miami PD and the Sheriff's office are working to combine their call centers.
The project would move some county dispatchers to the Miami Police Department so they would be under one roof.
Miami Police Chief Thomas Anderson:"Miami has seven full time dispatchers, and three part time dispatchers. To make our goal dispatch center, we're gonna at least need fifteen dispatchers."
The departments are currently looking for ways to pay for those extra people.
Floyd:"We have not put anything as far as approved anything. We've strategized and we've looked at charging so much per call per agency, and that's kind of what we're leaning towards."
While no plans are currently set in stone, everyone involved hopes the project will look more real sooner rather than later.
Anderson:"We're here for public safety and if we can get somebody there faster, more effectively and make our first responders safer, then we want to do everything we can to accomplish that goal."
The departments hope to present formal plans to the county commission by the end of the year.
We reached out to county commissioners, who are aware of the project, but do not wish to comment at this time because the project is still early on.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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