Undoing the Consolidation of the State Police Dispatch Centers

May 21, 2015

Guglielmo: this is great news and long overdue

Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) released the following statement today re: Dora Schriro, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, announcement that she completed a review of the consolidations and planned to reinstate dispatching and call-taking services at all state police barracks.

“This is great news and long overdue. As I have said for the past three years since the dispatch centers were tagged for consolidation; citizens of Connecticut should not be put in jeopardy because of these consolidations.

“50 towns and cities from Tolland, Windham and New London counties were part of an overall plan to save money by reducing centers from a total of 12 to 5. But I never understood from a public safety standpoint how some savings to the state, made sense to the people who rely on public safety to be there fast in an emergency.

“The Program Review and Investigations (PRI) did a report concerning state police staffing levels and response times. The study found that while state police respond to at least half of their calls within 15 minutes — a self-imposed standard — the response times vary depending on geography and the nature of the emergency. The report also suggested response times had increased slightly in recent years as the number of state troopers decreased.

“Once the consolidation efforts were put into full swing those response times got worse.

“A quick response when there is an emergency is extremely important. Under consolidation the times were increased by anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Sometimes because dispatchers were unable to tell troopers where to go because the staff were not familiar with the area they were covering.

“There were also issues with a new position called “the call-taker.” That person would take down the 9-1-1 caller’s information before handing it off to the dispatcher who would then contact the troopers. On many occasions this caused confusion and panic.”

Senator Guglielmo is the Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee