Sunday, April 19, 2015

COMMUNICATION/DISPATCH CENTER –PART 1 (THE PROBLEM)


The Town Council is looking for ways to reduce the operational cost of the town.  This effort is designed to eliminate wasteful spending which in turn will reduce our taxes.  One way is to have Androscoggin County Dispatch assume the dispatching responsibility for Lisbon thus eliminating our Communication/Dispatch Center.

The Town Council tasked Mrs. Barnes, our Town Manager, to send our requirements to the current Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) Lewiston-Auburn 911 and the Androscoggin County Dispatch to see if either one of these two PSAPs is capable of taking over the dispatching responsibility for Lisbon.  Apparently, this task was further delegated to Chief Brooks.  Chief Brooks sent out letters to the two PSAP’s with our requirements.

Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson responded with a letter dated April 8, 2015 stating that Androscoggin County Dispatch does have the capabilities to provide and maintain your current level of dispatching service.  Sheriff Samson included a fees schedule in his letter.  Based on his fee schedule, Chairman Pesce announced that there would be a cost savings of roughly $191,000.00 to the town.  This is a significant savings to the taxpayers.  The letter is attached.

However, Chief Brooks sent a letter dated April 10, 2015 to Sheriff Samson outlining all the reasons why the two Communication/Dispatch Centers CANNOT be consolidated.  This letter is unprofessional and a slap in the face of Sheriff Samson.  It is like telling him that he has no clue what he is doing.  Under no circumstances do your send out a letter requesting information and then send another letter tell someone that they cannot provide the service as stated.  The only person who knows what Androscoggin Dispatch Center can and cannot do is the supervisor and to have an outsider tell him he does not know what he is taking about is wrong.  This letter is also attached.


I am sure that Sheriff Samson consulted with the County Commissioners and his people before stating that Androscoggin County Dispatch can provide dispatching service to our town.  Chief Brooks is not privileged to what Sheriff Samson and the County has planned and therefore should never send his response.  It appears as this was a deliberate attempt to sabotage any chance of eliminating our Communication/Dispatch Center which would reduce the tax burden by $191,000.00 tax dollars.

Chief Brooks’ action was not only irresponsible and insulting but has jeopardized this project.  I do not believe anyone authorized Chief Brooks to send the letter dated April 10, 2015 to Sheriff Samson.  Chief Brooks has never wanted to consolidate Communications/Dispatch Centers from the very start.  I attended a few of the meeting the County Commissioners had years ago and discussed the consolidation with them.  I personally believe this would have been completed years ago if Chief Brooks was not so adamant about being in charge.

Chief Brooks’ letter dated April 10, 2015 is irresponsible and unprofessional and is insulting to our County Sheriff.  This behavior cannot go without consequences and Chief Brooks should be disciplined for his action.

Larry Fillmore