Cities not interested in joining combined 911 center in Pinellas - WFLA News Channel 8

Cities not interested in joining combined 911 center in Pinellas County

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Pinellas County Public Safety Complex Pinellas County Public Safety Complex
Pinellas County Public Safety Complex Pinellas County Public Safety Complex
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

leThursdaxas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told county commissioners and others attending a tour of his new Public Safety Complex  that "it's time [for Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs] to stop the nonsense" and combine their police dispatch operations with the new 911 center located inside his headquarters.

Related Story: Pinellas County Public Safety Complex opens

Gualtieri just combined his agency's dispatch system with 911 and insists it's working out well. "When you pick up the phone now and you need police fire or EMS you talk to one person, one time," Gualtieri said.

But 911 callers in cities have to be transferred to various police agencies adding response time and according to Gualtieri, endangering citizens because of dropped calls.

Pinellas 911 Director Charles Freeman told Eight On Your Side he can't cite any examples where lives have been lost due to call transfers, but agrees with the sheriff that combining operations will save cities millions in operational costs due to higher efficiency.

Whatever the case none of the cities is interested in following the sheriff's recent example and folding dispatch centers into the county 911 operation, at least no just yet.

"I would guess in some cases at least they want to know how it's working out," Freeman said.

Copyright 2014 WFLA.  All rights reserved.

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