The town of Palmer has been looking to join forces with Monson, Ware, and Warren in order to build a regionalized 911 dispatch center, which would be the first of its kind in Western Mass.
"In our town and all of the other towns we are talking about consolidating with, there's only a single dispatcher on duty at any given time, so it's very difficult," said Robert Frydryk, chief of the Palmer Police Department.
Frydryk told CBS 3 that he wants to make sure that when an emergency happens, they will be able to get help out right away, and a regional dispatch center could make this possible.
"To try and take care of the call volume, to communicate with officers on the radio and do emergency medical dispatching. So that would give us some advantage in that there would be extra personnel on duty at all times to do an adequate job at emergency medical dispatching," Frydryk said.
At the same time, Palmer has already been moving forward with its plans to build a new police station, which includes a dispatch center that is around five times bigger than the already existing one.
The four towns have been working together to see whether a regional dispatch center would be better for taxpayers and safety purposes.
"The town of Monson was a driving force behind a grant that we received from state 911 a couple of years ago. We actually hired a consultant to look at the feasibility of regionalizing our dispatch center, and the report came out favorably, recommending that we regionalize our dispatch center," Frydryk said.
A regional dispatch center could also bring the local police departments more grant money from the state, which could potentially make the center a cost-saving measure and a life-saving one, too.
"Although there is a potential to save some money, I think there is more potential in having a higher quality, better, more professional service provided to the community," said Charlie Blanchard.
Town officials said the idea of a regional call center is expected to go before the town at their annual meeting this spring.
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