County talks dispatch

The Committee of Intergovernmental Cooperation will meet with Schenectady County elected officials to discuss the creation of a central dispatch for police and fire departments in the county on Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at the South Schenectady Fire Department in Rotterdam.

The project, which would allow for participating municipalities throughout the county, to work out of a centralized location in an effort to increase the efficiency of responses, promote public safety and cut down on costs in up keeping equipment at the municipal level.

Backed by Anthony Jasenski, D-District 4, the project was created in an effort to cut down on operational and fiscal inefficiencies in using multiple fire and police dispatch locations throughout the county.

According to information from Schenectady County, the county was awarded a $100,000 grant through the New York State Shared Municipal Services Incentive Program to study the feasibility of a central dispatch in 2007. In 2008, the county implemented the study and conducted presentations and meetings with local law enforcement, EMS, fire and public safety agencies throughout the county in an effort figure out the best way to implement the use of a central dispatch center for the different residents of each of the municipalities through the New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation. Through the information found by NYSTEC in the municipalities, a consensus was reached that the creation of a unified communications center would help to improve the coordination of efforts between different information and mutual aid service, when needed, throughout the county. In January of 2009, the county applied for the New York State Efficiency Implementation Grant in relation to the project, bringing in $1 million in aid in the spring of 2009 to purchase equipment towards the creation and implementation of a central dispatch.

\The driving force behind this has always been public safety, but if we can save money that is also good, said Janeski.

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