Dispatching for the Jasper County Sheriff’s office will return to the Jasper County Emergency Services Dispatch Center sometime after April 1, according to Sheriff Randee Kaiser.
It’s a move Kaiser said will save his department $450,000 annually over the long term in duplicated computer maintenance fees, salaries and other expenses.
The Jasper County Commission will approve a new contract between the county and the Emergency Services Dispatch Board at its meeting at 9 a.m. next Tuesday, March 19.
The commission was prepared to approve the contract at its regular meeting yesterday, but tabled it because County Assistant Attorney Norman Rouse found some wording discrepancies in the contract emailed to him by the 9-1-1 center.
The county and the dispatch board, which oversees the county 9-1-1 dispatch center and service, have been working on the contract since Kaiser took office in January.
In return for taking over the dispatching, the sheriff’s office will transfer to the emergency services center about $42,000 in desks, consoles and other equipment purchased by former Sheriff Archie Dunn in 2010.
Dunn spent approximately $500,000 building a new dispatching center at the sheriff’s headquarters on County Road 180 east of Joplin after a dispute with the emergency services dispatching center.
Rouse said a large part of that money was the initial costs of buying and setting up the computers, installing a radio tower at that site and paying the initial maintenance costs on the computers and radio consoles.
Kaiser said the sheriff will repurpose and continue to use three large servers, the radio tower and some of the other equipment purchased with the sheriff’s office dispatch center.
Kaiser also said he will make the move without having to lay off any of the nine dispatchers at the sheriff’s office.
He said those dispatchers are being transferred to other openings within the department.
Kaiser said he’s hoping the emergency services center can start dispatching sheriff’s cars on April 1, but that date is flexible.
The initial contract, involving the transfer of equipment, will cover dispatching through May 14, 2014.
After that, Kaiser said the emergency services board agreed to try to dispatch sheriff’s officers at no additional cost, similar to the agreements the board has with county fire departments.
That’s a change from the agreement the board had with the sheriff’s office prior to 2010, in which the sheriff’s office paid $110,000 per year for dispatching service.
Kaiser said both sides will review the agreement prior to May 14, 2014 to decide if dispatching at no additional costs can continue.
If no changes are necessary, the contract will renew each year automatically unless one party gives notice it wants to back out six months in advance of renewal.
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