Dearborn Heights officials debate joining unified 911 dispatch

Posted at 5:47 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 05:47:24-04

A debate is playing out over the Dearborn Heights 911 dispatch service. There are two options: Upgrade the current dispatch center or consolidate with other communities saving the community roughly $1 million over two years.

There are concerns from residents and current dispatchers, among them, the dispatchers are concerned they could lose their seniority.

"With the way things go, a lot of stuff happens, and we'll end up with a police officer dispatching for us. It's just not the safest practice" Dearborn Heights Fire Chief Dave Brogan said. "Police officers don't know our response procedures, they don't know the dispatch information we're looking for, some of the terminology we use."

Brogan said some things have to change with how the city's solo dispatch center operates.

The Dearborn Unified Dispatch Center, which is one option, is made up of seven communities, including Dearborn.

Dearborn Chief Joseph Murray said it would be nice to have a dispatch center that knows what's going on in the regions around Dearborn Heights as well.

The $1 million savings over two years would save the city money, but some dispatchers don't like the idea.

"If this consolidation happens, I think I can speak frankly and for our union as a whole, that none of us have an interest in joining," one dispatcher said.

The meeting also highlighted that out of 136 dispatcher centers in Michigan, only 38 dispatch for their own community.