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Newtown looks into regionalized emergency dispatch

A study about regionalizing emergency dispatch operations is being discussed in Newtown.


The Newtown Board of Selectmen have received an update from members of the Legislative Council about regionalization of Newtown Dispatch. A 2011 regionalization effort with Danbury and other towns was not successful, in part because Danbury had not yet consolidated its 911 call center operations.  Danbury is currently in the process of doing that and moving toward civilianization. 


Newtown is at a crossroads when it comes to Computer Aided Dispatch software so officials say this might be the right time to consider regionalization.  New World has had many updates and changes, leading to several questions.  A presentation last week to the Board of Selectmen pointed out that New World uses global Computer Aided Dispatch, which Newtown Police do not favor. 


Site visits have been completed and input was sought from Newtown police officials, the Newtown ambulance corp, director of the Emergency Operations Center and the Newtown Board of Fire Commissioners.  Among the concerns is that there is no consistent coverage during off hours, with regional dispatchers not knowing Newtown as well as a resident would.  But that point was countered with one of the benefits listed being an increased number of dispatchers familiar with Newtown.  There also may be a higher standard in terms of required training. 


The presentation at the Board of Selectmen meeting last week noted that regionalization is not an evaluation of current dispatchers and that the presentation was not an in depth analysis. 


The next step is to fund a study.

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Rich Valdes

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