SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane City Council voted to postpone a decision to join a regional, integrated 911 system on Thursday. They plan to continue talks with SREC for another month before a decision is made.
Council members just deferred the 911 integration for a month on a 5-2 vote. Plan to continue talks with SREC. #kxly— Kyle Simchuk (@KyleKXLY) May 23, 2019
The meeting was part of an ongoing debate over whether or not to merge Spokane 911 dispatchers into the new Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC), which will begin operations on July 1.
City council members have put off a decision because they say SREC has not given them answers regarding what the partnership would mean for response times and dispatcher jobs.
Council members say Spokane Regional Emergency Communications (SREC) has not given them answers to what the partnership would mean for response times, dispatcher jobs.— Kyle Simchuk (@KyleKXLY) May 23, 2019
The City of Spokane has been providing communication, dispatch and related services to fire districts in the county, as well as the cities of Medical Lake, Airway Heights and Cheney. All of those agencies have decided to contract with SREC for those services instead.
Stratton says she doesn’t appreciate the way the city, or dispatchers have been treated during this process — says some have had their jobs threatened.— Kyle Simchuk (@KyleKXLY) May 23, 2019
Earlier this month, the City of Spokane laid off 10 fire dispatchers, They city said the affected employees would be offered opportunities within the SREC agency.
In November, the City Council unanimously vetoed efforts to integrate the 911 dispatchers into SREC. The effort to integrate is supported by Mayor David Condon, who stated at the time, it would save the city $4.2 million on dispatching services.
The council voted against the dispatcher integration in November, saying there was not enough information provided to show that the move made financial sense.
A previous release noted that if the city decides not to join the system, employees would continue to provide dispatch and communication services for SFD and SPD. The city would essentially be operating a duplicate communication center that would provide services only to the city.
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