Council votes to close police dispatch center, hand duties over to county

At Thursday night's special borough council meeting nearly a dozen residents spoke out against the plan to close the existing center and funnel calls to Cumberland County 911.

However, council voted 5 -2 to hand over dispatch services to the county.

Following the vote many residents in attendance stormed out.

“I am outraged,” one woman who did not wish to be identified told abc27.

The move will initially save $30,000 – $50,000 a year.

The borough will have to pay for new radios and other necessary equipment to join the county. That is expected to cost $240,000. There will also be additional costs associated with the change that will cost tens of thousands more.

Borough Manger Matt Candland said the upgrades would have needed to happen soon regardless of the change.

Council members that supported the measure said it was something that just needed to be done in the best interest of the community.

“Kicking the can down the road is not a solution for me. We need to take advantage of the technology, the extraordinary technology at the existing county control,” Council President Perry Heath said.

Proponents also believe it will improve police services, however, the police chief disagrees.

“Those who think this will streamline service are sadly mistaken. I am sorry to say. I do not believe that will be the case,” Carlisle Police Chief Stephen Margeson said.

Went on to say there will not be any layoffs, however, the department will need to go through some restructuring. They will keep the current dispatchers on. That recent change is the reason the savings estimate is now much lower than a previously reported $174,000.

When the transfer takes effect the police station will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m., it is now open 24/7.

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