County Commissioners consider merging emergency dispatch center - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

County Commissioners consider merging emergency dispatch centers

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PASCO, Wash.--County Commissioners consider a survey to merge emergency dispatch centers. A potential merger between the Benton and Franklin County dispatch centers could improve services and save thousands of dollars.

Franklin County Commissioners say they support the idea to merge the Benton and Franklin County dispatch centers. This comes after a recent study by eGov. It shows the dispatch combination would improve services and save money by reducing maintenance costs between both county emergency systems.

Franklin County Commissioner Bob Koch says "it would be a joint dispatch and the time frame from a phone call to a dispatch would be accelerated." The eGov survey shows the counties could save $50,000 a year. They found a merger would work because both emergency systems are compatible with one another.

Benton County Commissioner Shon Small "what we're looking at doing is actually a 911 study which would take a look at Benton and Franklin County and just see how well the technologies would benefit each other." Right now Benton and Franklin County Commissioners are considering a $75,000 state-funded 911 study to get a more in-depth look at how services would work.

Commissioner Koch says "if it finds financially that it is feasible, the state will possibly, through the 911 system, have some money to formalize this 911 consolidation system."

Benton County Commissioners will meet next Tuesday with Richland officials to discuss the 911 study and the financial benefits of the possible merger. After the Benton County Commissioners meeting, they will assess the benefits of the proposed 911 study and decide whether to go forward from there.

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