MIDDLETOWN — The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioner said April 16 that she has completed her preliminary review of consolidated state police radio dispatching and has formulated a plan for moving forward.
Dora Schriro said that all administrative calls, which do not include a call for service by state troopers, will be directed to the local barracks where they are best handled locally by personnel at the barracks, in person or by phone.
All 911 calls requiring the dispatching of troopers will continue to be directed to consolidated dispatch locations, in keeping with a growing trend to focus on consolidating 911 calls in the interest of improved public safety, she said.
The formation of both a working group of in-house experts, including dispatchers, troopers and sergeants, and an advisory group, comprised of representatives of municipalities, will be employed to elicit feedback on an ongoing basis and address issues and concerns as they arise, she said.
Ms Schriro announced that the planned state police’s Central District dispatch consolidation remains on hold, pending further review.
“Although the state police dispatch consolidation has had its share of challenges, optimal results can still be realized by addressing outstanding issues associated with planning and implementation, improving the handling of 911 and other urgent calls requiring immediate attention, and redirecting administrative requests that are not urgent in nature to the local [barracks] for the individualized attention they warrant,” she said in a statement.
Field testing of the modified plan began on April 16 at Troop A in Southbury and Troop D in Danielson, with full statewide implementation expected by the fall.
“Starting at Troop A and Troop D will give us the opportunity to assess the rollout and make the necessary adjustments prior to statewide implementation and the addition of the working group of in-house experts and an advisory group made up of representatives of Connecticut’s municipalities will significantly enhance our efforts,” Ms Schriro said.
In March, as part of Ms Schriro’s review of dispatch consolidation, she directed the restoration of 24/7 coverage at all state police barracks across the state, keeping the barracks open and accessible to the public around the clock.
Ms Schriro’s review began in January and to date, has included one and more tours of the 11 troops, ongoing conversations with sworn and civilian line staff, supervisors and managers, and dispatcher family members; meetings with employee bargaining units and its members; meetings with state legislators and local leaders; collection and analysis of data; a tour of the New York City’s 911 call center; and consultations with several other states regarding their 911 and dispatching activities.