City of Springfield decides to maintain separate dispatch center from Clark County

Local News

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – After years of negotiations, the City of Springfield has decided it will not be joining the soon-to-be built Clark County Dispatch Center.

Most recently, the city outlined two conditions to join the county’s center, which will be coming to Home Road, but said they will remain separate as they were not met.

Clark County Commissioner, Rick Lohnes, said they plan to spend about $5 million for building and technology upgrades to make their new dispatch center comply with next generation 911 but it will not include the city of Springfield services.

“We’re building it with the capacity to bring the city on because it would be so much more efficient to dispatch within the city if we were combined and certainly a lot cheaper for the city,” said Lohnes.

But the city said in their most recent negotiations, they wanted to insure their city dispatchers were not stripped of their seniority and would want to share management operations of the new center.

City Commissioner Rob Rue told 2 NEWS they take in about a quarter of a million calls every year. 70,000 of those are 911 calls.

Rue said they decided it would be best they maintain their own dispatch center for safety and quality purposes, and added they recently upgraded much of their technology.

“We have an experienced staff trained to take care of those types of calls that come into our city dispatch center,” said Rue. “That experience coupled with our new equipment, we’ve created a real safe dispatch center and if I thought it was going to cause any safety concerns for the citizens in the city and the county to communicate, then I wouldn’t be in support of our manager’s decision to maintain our own dispatch center.”

But Lohnes disagrees, and said one center would result in faster service.

“The city dispatchers don’t have the info on their screens on where all the deputy sheriffs are in the city,” said Lohnes. “Now they can share info, they can get on the phone, they can contact the county dispatch and find out, but that takes time.”

Bids for the dispatch center construction project will be made public in January but Lohnes said there is no end date set yet.

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