News : City of Crete Switched to Regional Call Center
Crete, NB, US, July 8, 2015 -- The City of Crete closed their 911 dispatch center and switched to a regional call center called the Southeast Nebraska 911 Center located in the Beatrice Police Department.
Lt. Gary Young with the Crete Police Department tells 10/11 News the reason for the switch was all financial. It would have cost the City of Crete about $500,000 to upgrade to modern software and mapping systems.
The Southeast Nebraska Regional 911 center serves five law enforcement agencies and 19 fire and rescue teams. Bruce Lang, Police Chief for the Beatrice Police Department said other regions in Nebraska as well as numerous places across the nation use a regional call center type business model.
"There was five dispatch centers within 30 miles of Beatrice so that obviously doesn't make a lot of sense because that means five different people are buying five different radio consoles and five different computer systems and each of them has at least one if not two dispatchers working. So if you staff that around the clock, the cost of that is really significant," Lang said.
Lightning struck the Southeast Nebraska 911 call center in early May forcing them to move to a temporary location for almost two months; in addition to replacing all of their old equipment with new technology.
"The dispatch console is the latest version, the computer system is the latest version of those because we had to replace them," he said.
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One dispatcher who has worked in Beatrice for 11 years anticipates some challenges with the addition of Crete to their call center.
"There's going to be a learning curve, learning the streets, the towns, the communities, the people, those you deal with consistently," Russ Jobman said.
The call center settled into their new location in the Beatrice Police Dept. in mid-June.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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