In June 17 Issue
KSP Capt. Greg Baird and staff spent an hour answering questions from the court members and those in the audience at Monday night's fiscal court meeting.
Baird said that the figures projected for his department to take over county emergency 911 dispatching duties were based on those recently paid by Spencer County. He said follow up on another change-over in the state yielded positive comments at 6 and 12 month reviews.
Magistrate Gary Robertson asked if the county could expect the same quality and priority of service with the state police operating the dispatch center as emergency personnel have received while it was operated locally.
“Will our calls be put on the back burner,” he concluded his question.
“Just the opposite,” Baird said.
Baird added that their office is manned by more dispatchers than the local office and they are all seasoned professionals.
As questions continued about the KSP office handling the call volume Baird said the post has three to four operators on duty all the time and would add another person if the county decided to use their personnel and equipment to answer emergency calls in the future.
When asked about the disposition of the county's repeater system the KSP staff responded that unless the county paid for the state to maintain them they would remain the responsibility of the county.
Russell Springs Police Chief Joseph M. Irvin pointed out that when the repeater system is down no local officers can still reach the dispatch on the local channel, but pointed out this would not be possible if the state police took over dispatch duties since they are too far away.
“We would be isolated if the repeater went down,” he concluded.
Concerns were expressed over whether the rates would go up after the county had made the change, to which KSP said they would not.
Some in the audience expressed support for such a change, while others questioned whether the decision was good monetarily, but bad for the county.