Digital Communities

N.C. City and County Resume 911 Dispatch Consolidation Talks

After failing to consolidate their 911 systems in 2017, the City of Fayetteville, N.C., and Cumberland County are opening communication to try the project again.

by Steve DeVane, The Fayetteville Observer / January 8, 2019

(TNS) — Cumberland County and City of Fayetteville, N.C., officials may again be talking about consolidating or co-locating their 911 dispatch operations.

County officials said in a statement released Thursday that the county had contacted city officials about the possibility of moving the city’s 911 center with the county operations into a building the county bought. The facility is on Executive Place near Raeford Road.

County officials have asked the city to respond by Jan. 25 in order to meet grant application deadlines. The county plans to seek grant funds to help pay for renovation, hardware, equipment and associated technology costs, the statement said.

County and city officials talked about consolidating their 911 operations in 2017, but the talks broke down over which agency would run the center and how much each government would pay for it.

Mayor Mitch Colvin said city officials found out about the proposal from the county’s press release on Thursday about buying the building.

“I don't think we have the details worked out for consolidation,” he said. “That's a lot more complicated process to work out, particularly in the amount of time that they've given.”

Colvin said the City Council will discuss the county's proposal Monday at its work session.

“We always look forward to collaboration, and hopefully, if we can get the details worked out, we'll gladly be a joint applicant — if the council chooses to move in that direction,” he said.

Commissioners’ Chairwoman Jeannette Council said the county looks forward to the possibility of partnering with the city on the project.

“The sooner we can get it off the ground the better it will be for all the citizens of Cumberland County and our 911 professionals,” she said.

The county plans to use the building for its Emergency Services staff, the county’s 911 center, Emergency Operations Center and Fire Marshal’s office.

The county’s emergency Services operations are now in the Law Enforcement Center, which is next to to the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Courthouse. The new facility will provide more space, room for expansion and upgraded work areas, according to the county’s statement.

Council said the county has outgrown the current facility.

“Upgrading to a bigger and better facility has been a long time coming,” she said.

Tracy Jackson, the county’s interim emergency services director, said Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence showed the inadequacies of the current Emergency Services location.

“Recent occurrences of these types of disasters make it imperative that the county is poised to respond quickly and effectively,” he said.

The county bought the building from MLW Farms LLC on Nov. 21 for $5.1 million. The Department of Defense had been leasing the building, which was originally an insurance claims center and all center, Jackson said.

©2019 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.