Dispatch service could move to county

Staff Writer

By lindsey siegle

Dispatch service
could move to county

SHREWSBURY — The Borough Council will consider on Monday a proposal to have the county provide police, fire and first aid dispatch services.

As part of its examination into shared services as a means of reducing expenses, the council will hold a hearing on enacting an interlocal service agreement with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department to provide the borough’s police, fire and first aid dispatch services.

Several neighboring communities have some or all of their emergency dispatch duties handled by the county.

Tinton Falls uses the county for all of its dispatch services as do Colts Neck and Monmouth Beach. Long Branch and Ocean Township use the county for its fire and first aid departments.

According to figures compiled by Borough Administrator Brian Valentino, the borough would save more than $100,000 in the first year if it switched to the county’s dispatch service.

The county has said it would provide dispatch service to the borough for $80,730 for the first year. That figure includes a one-time set-up fee of $3,500 for conversion costs.

The savings would amount to a 2.44 cent reduction in the tax rate, or $48.78 for a home assessed at $200,000.

In addition to the tax savings, the borough could apply for a Regional Efficiency Aid Program (REAP) tax credit from the state Department of Community Affairs, according to borough officials.

The borough received $3,416 in REAP tax relief this year because of a shared-services agreement with Eatontown to share a networking system for the mobile computers in the police cars.

Patrolman Daniel Lloyd, president of PBA Local 308, has compiled figures that put the borough’s savings at $70,000, or a roughly 1.7 cent reduction in the tax rate.

Lloyd’s figures would mean the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 would save approximately $34 if the borough used the county dispatch service.

Police Chief John Wilson noted that if the borough did switch to the county, there would be times when no one would be in the police station.

He noted that police stations are considered safe harbors when a person feels endangered, but if the borough went with the county system, anyone coming to the station for assistance would only be able to reach the county dispatch service by a phone outside the building.

Wilson said he does not support using the county service.

Currently the borough uses the county dispatch service for its 911 service. The borough pays a base rate and a per call fee for that service which would remain in place.

In addition to considering having dispatch services provided by the county, the borough is currently using a state grant to fund the study of sharing solid waste collection services with Red Bank, Little Silver and Fair Haven.