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Posted on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 2 p.m.

Ypsilanti City Council approves moving emergency dispatchers to county

By David Wak

The Ypsilanti City Council has approved moving its four police and fire dispatchers to work out of county dispatch centers.

After the 7-0 vote this week, dispatchers now await a decision by the Police Officers Association of Michigan, but acting Police Chief Lt. Paul DeRidder said he has little doubt the organization will approve the move. He said he expects the dispatcher to be working for the county by late January or February.

Ypsilanti Fire Captain Dan King said it was the best move for the city. King said the four dispatchers were overworked and sometimes physically unable to answer the phones.

"They're overworked, understaffed, and they do a great job," King said.

With the move to the county, the four dispatchers will lose their seniority, but they will get a pay raise from $44,000 to $51,000. They will also go from 12 to eight-hour days and have 9 other dispatchers to back them up. DeRidder said they will work out of dispatch centers in Ann Arbor and Hogback road.

Huron Valley Ambulance will handle all fire and medical emergency calls.

The city stands to save $89,000 annually with the move. That is roughly the price of one police officer, DeRidder said at a Dec. 2 City Council meeting.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said the move is part of a greater effort to improve communications between law enforcement agencies in the county.

Some residents said they were wary of the move because it might slow down response times for police, fire, and emergency services. But police and Huron Valley Ambulance officials said there will be no delays on response times.

At the Dec. 2 meeting, DeRidder said residents can still use the emergency phones in the lobby of the police station on Michigan Avenue after it closes, and their calls will go directly to the sheriff's dispatch center.



Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 7:59 a.m.

A decision of this magnitute should never have been made without a Chief of Police in place. Of course there is a "dead rat" in the equasion. WHAT WAS THE HURRY?


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 3:25 a.m.

Think about this to. With all the mess that the County is in and with them cutting this and cutting that to meet their budget where are they going to come up with the money to pay these dispatchers? 4 dispatchers currently making $44,000 dollars will lose their seniority and get a pay raise to $51,000 dollars. Plus benefits on top of that is probably more like $70-75,000. Somebody again tell me where the logic is in this? Ypsilanti City is seizing on an opportunity to make a move because there is no Police Chief. Somebody is being paid here for making this decision and it is a poor decision right now to make. Realize that 4 X 51,000 = $204,000 per year just for 4 dispatchers......I thought the County was hard up for money? I smell a dead rat here someplace and somebody is not telling the truth.....


Fri, Dec 18, 2009 : 7:26 a.m.

Things moved too fast on this vote. WHY? This should have been brought to the PEOPLE. This is the first step in the County taking over City Police Services. The focus has been on the dispatchers jobs being saved and their pay increase. Saving their jobs is important but let's focus on the real issue here, City Council did not include the PEOPLE. If you talk about the hand full of people that attend Council meetings, maybe they feel the PEOPLE spoke. A special election should have been held for this issue and THE ENTIRE CITY should have known their Police Dispatch services were on the chopping block. I am trusting YPOA to vote this move down.


Fri, Dec 18, 2009 : 5:54 a.m.

A few years down the road this would have been an OK decision. As you can tell the City gave no time for this to go before the people, they just voted on it and now it's a done deal. Things move too fast around here, EVERYTHING is POLITICAL. Nobody cares about the people anymore. Will it work, sure it will work. Will the response times be great? Yes of coarse, but that is not the matter of it. They are doing this to say $89,000. In two years time I guarantee that number will be much higher, then what will the City who is already strapped guessed it...another lawsuit against the county. The county is not the end all. Sure they want to be Central Dispatch but they should have been thinking like this years ago. Why all the sudden now. The sheeple believe it and back it. This means their fire dispatch is going to HVA. What a crock!! If Police and fire protection like this keeps declining and the housing market and jobs keep declining...I'll be moving to a western state where life is good, and none of this thugish lifestyles.

dading dont delete me bro

Thu, Dec 17, 2009 : 4:53 p.m.

is this quote correct? --> "...said he has little doubt the organization will approve the move..." then why? -->"...He said he expects the dispatcher to be working for the county by late January or February.." sounds contradictory