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West Carrollton Dispatch Center Merges With Centerville

Ariel Van Cleave

The cities of West Carrollton and Centerville will soon start combining their emergency dispatch centers. This kind of merger is becoming more common.

Small towns like West Carrollton can have a hard time keeping up with equipment upgrades required by the Federal Communications Commission. West Carrollton needed to pay $500,000 to be in compliance with the FCC by next year, and the city just didn’t have the money. Financial pressure on the city increased after lawmakers at the Ohio statehouse passed a measure essentially banning red light cameras and changed the way municipal taxes are collected.

Centerville offered to take on the city’s 911 calls without increasing its expenses. The five-year deal has an initial cost of about $244,000 and the contract is capped at $280,000. John Davis, who is a spokesperson for the Centerville Police Department, says West Carrollton dispatchers will need some new training.

“I don’t know that there’s a standardized training out there for, say, a dispatcher. There’s not a dispatcher’s academy. So it’s very individualized within departments.”

All emergency calls from West Carrollton will go through Centerville beginning May 1.

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