Sandy Hook Commission Focuses in Part on Consolidating Dispatch Centers - NBC Connecticut

Sandy Hook Commission Focuses in Part on Consolidating Dispatch Centers



    Today, members of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met in Hartford to go over recommendations on law enforcement, school safety and mental health. (Published Friday, June 20, 2014)

    The Sandy Hook Commission met on Friday to discuss recommendations they will eventually present to Gov. Dannel Malloy and one of the major topics was about consolidating smaller dispatch centers.

    The discussion focused in part on whether local dispatch centers are equipped to handle major incidents. 

    Commission Chairman and Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson said some centers are inadequate.

    “There is not the time, nor the space, for mistakes in law enforcement response,” Jackson said.

    The issue has been controversial. 

    South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed said that while he sees the positive, many departments who wouldn't want a centralized 911 center.

    “That's what the argument comes down to. People want local people answering their calls for help,” Reed said.

    The commission members also discussed school safety plans, which members said have to be specific to the community and school. 

    They also took up issues on gun control, including serial numbers for ammunition, and mental health screenings.

    “A gun in any hand that wants it is not in society's best interest,” said Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy.

    Even though the commission has been working toward recommendations to make Connecticut a safer place, some wondered if all of this is really helping.

    “I’m just at a point of frustration and I'm concerned as we move towards completion of our charge, that we haven't made a difference and this won't make a difference,” said McCarthy, when addressing the alarming number of shootings since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    The committee will be presenting the recommendations to Gov. Dannel Malloy. 

    “This document needs to not just be something that's forensically clinical and accurate, it needs to convey a sense of hope in the future,” Robert Ducibella, of DVS Security Consulting and Engineering, said.

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