Monday, October 19, 2015

CONSOLIDATING DISPATCH? BY Larry Fillmore


When someone suggests a better method of doing business, they are two crucial factors to consider: (1) feasibility and (2) cost savings? Feasibility is whether or not it can be done and cost savings means is the cost saving worth the value received? So let’s take a look at consolidating Lisbon Communication Center with Androscoggin County Dispatch. Subject Matter Experts (SME) have been hired by the County to evaluate if this project is feasibility. These SMEs have determined it is very doable. Now, let’s look at the savings:

PRO’s

1. The most critical saving is life; which you cannot put a price tag on. Eliminating the Lisbon Communication Center from the process, allows Androscoggin County Dispatch to dispatch Lisbon’s First Responders immediately to the scene.

2. Dispatching Lisbon’s First Responders from Androscoggin County Dispatch will reduce fatalities.

3. Eliminating the Lisbon Communication Center will save taxpayers approximately $339,000 in operating cost and roughly another $100,000 in maintenance and upgrading of equipment.

4. The above cited saving is equal to 1 mil rate which would reduce our taxes by approximately $435,000 tax dollars.

5. Having our Dispatcher located at the Androscoggin County Dispatch will improve the quality of service.

6. The Town would NOT have to add a dedicated Communication Supervisor because the communication center would be located and the responsibility of the County thus eliminating a recommendation in the Independent Police Study.

7. Sergeant Moore could return 100% to the Police Department and there would be NO need to convert the Information Technology work of the Department to a civilian position as recommended in the Independent Police Study.

8. Sergeant Moore returning to the Police Department 100% will eliminate the Police Study recommendation of staffing a Patrol Supervisor.

9. Lisbon would no longer be responsible for subsidizing dispatching to Durham, Greene, and Sabattus.

CONs:

1. Change is always scary because of the unknown.

2. Lisbon resident’s lives would remain at risk unnecessarily.

3. Annual increases in the Lisbon Communication Center for both hardware/software and operating cost.

4. Chief Brooks would lose half of his command.

I listened to Chief Brooks misspeak during several of his presentations about the window being left empty to the people. A professional leader would move the Administrative Assistant, his Secretaries (number of which is unknown) and the Sergeant’s desk into this space to cover the window for the people.
Chief Brooks misspeak about dispatchers not knowing Lisbon and the area. What does Chief Brooks mean because Androscoggin County Dispatchers will be using Lisbon’s dispatchers to notify Lisbon’s First Responders?

A review of the PROs and CONs make it clear, that moving this project forward would be a valuable asset to the community. It would eliminate one step in the current process and increase the response time in emergencies. Saving lives should be the ultimate goal of everyone. A secondary goal would be reducing operating cost and a reduction in taxes.
With all of these facts available to our Town Council; why would the Town Council kill this project? Sheriff Samson only wanted the town to give their approval for the project to go forward. Sheriff Samson needed this to present to the County Commissioners to justify his budget request of $225,000 for the project.
This just goes to show how much these Councilors and Chief Brooks really care about our community.


Larry Fillmore