Equipment Moved In To New East Haven Dispatch Center

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    NEWSLETTERS

    East Haven Town Hall.

    At the East Haven Police Department, the computers are going in and the room is being set up for the new dispatch center.

    It’s a project that Mayor Joe Maturo says he’s wanted to see for years.

    "For 13 years, I’ve wanted to do this... and the reason being is public safety," said Mayor Maturo.

    Maturo says the new dispatch center will combine the individual operations of the fire department and the police department into one location. Right now, a single person is left manning the fire dispatch.

    "If all the firemen are out on a fire, they cannot leave that dispatch center, so it’s really unsafe," said Maturo.

    It will also use six civilians, which means the police officer currently staffing the police dispatch center will be back out on the field and help boost the staffing numbers at the department.

    However, the police union questions how accurate that would be.

    In a statement, union president Bob Nappe said, "When the union negotiating team asked the Town, 'So you will put that dispatch officer on the road?' The Town's answer was 'we cannot commit to that.'"

    Others are questioning why $12,000 in new equipment has already been purchased when the Town Council still needs to vote on bonding for the new center.

    "I’d like to know first of all, where they got this $12,000 from, without approval of the Town Council," said Town Council member Joseph Badamo.

    He also questions why six civilians are already being trained.

    "In the budget, we received for 2014-15', there’s no department heads for who’s in charge of them, how much money is for salaries, how much money is for overtime, how much money is for sick time," said Badamo.

    Mayor Maturo says there’s always seed money used before the bonding vote.

    "It’s already been passed by the Town Council, not the bonding, but the hiring the six dispatchers has already been passed. It’s already in the new budget, so we already have money set aside for that," said Maturo.

    The Town Council is scheduled to take up the issue at its next meeting on August 5.