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Report Says Tri-Cities Will Save Millions in Police Dispatch Consolidation

The Argus reports that Newark will not take part because of start-up costs.

Consultants recently determined Fremont, Newark and Union City could save millions of dollars if they move forward with a joint police dispatch service, according to media reports.

But one city may not take part.

The Fremont Argus reported that Newark officials are deciding to not consolidate its police dispatch with its neighboring cities “citing concerns about start-up expenses and decision-making autonomy.”

To start the merging of dispatch services, Newark would have to pay between $1.75 million and $2.5 million, according to The Argus.

Because Newark is not joining the consolidation, the savings for Fremont and Union City is less than projected if Newark were to take part, but Fremont Assistant City Manager Mark Danaj told The Argus that “the plan is ‘still economically valuable’” for the two cities.

The average 10-year savings for a consolidated police dispatch service would average $4 million for Union City and $3 million for Fremont, The Argus reports.

The Fremont-based publication also reported that the average cost per call for the two cities would be slightly lower than $31, which is $4 less than Fremont’s current cost and $15 less than Union City’s.

The hope of city officials is to start the operation of a new joint dispatch center within 12-18 months, according to The Argus.

The projected savings came from a report from Deltawrx Management Consultants, a firm hired last summer to look into the estimated savings of consolidating the services.

Read The Argus’ full report here. 

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Editor's note: This report was updated 7:20 p.m. Wednesday to clarify a figure that was originally listed incorrectly.

Davis September 19, 2012 at 07:28 PM
First, probably the only folks that will see a profit are the consultants. The Fire Dept's have gone from Union City, then Union City-Fremont, Now Union City is with Alameda County. Perhaps the best solution for the whole mess the Cities are in is to establish Alameda County South West(?) Eliminate THREE City governments and consolidate and save billions. Think about it.
TruthOverDare September 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
"The Fremont-based publication also reported that the average cost per call for the two cities would be slightly lower than $31, which is $4 less than Fremont’s current cost and $45 less than Union City’s." This means that Fremont currently spends $35 per call and Union City spends $76 per call. Why is Union City's cost per call so high? It is because voters continue to give city blank checks in the form of higher taxes. In turn, the officials spend the money recklessly and run up city's cost off the charts when bench-marked against comparable cities. Anyone want to guess what Union City will do with the money saved? They will find a way to SPEND IT! No benefits to residents or voters.
Nika Megino (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Sorry, that was our mistake/typo. Union City currently spends $15 more than the projected cost per call of $30. We are fixing the article now.
Dan Arnhem September 20, 2012 at 03:04 AM
What does cost per call refer to? The cost to take the call, or the cost to both take the call and for the officer to make the call where the help is needed? You certainly can't be saying it costs the dispatch center in Union city, $45 to take a call? Huh?
TruthOverDare September 20, 2012 at 07:43 AM
It is $45 per call to take the call and dispatch. This article is about consolidating dispatch. Cost of actually responding to the call is not factored into the discussion.
Dan Arnhem September 20, 2012 at 08:16 AM
Goodness, you have dispatchers sitting there taking what, 3 to 6 calls per hour? 25 to 50 calls a day each? They work at least 200 days a year, so you have from 5,000 to to 10,000 calls taken per year. Take the lower figure of 5,000 calls per year, thats only 1 call per 20 minutes with loads of vacation, sick leave, holidays, and such. OK, in Union City they make $71,335 a year plus benefits...even throw in some OT... medical etc. Max for normal hours TCOE (total cost of employment) is less than $120,000 Divide by 5,000 calls, 1 every 20 minutes. and we've got a exaggerated $24 per call, or about $75,, per hour. Throw in equipment, a supervisor, and you might get to $30 per call. But Union City says they're now spending $45 per call ? How? My example was for a dispatcher only taking 25 calls a day. Only working 40 weeks a year. Making $120,000 with benefits. Throwing in overhead. So tell me this, do dispatchers handle more than 3 calls a hour? I thought they were racing from one call to the next. Because if they take 6 calls a hour, the the cost per call would be half what I figured. I'd like to see the math on this. And people wonder why City Hall takes so much money to run. What is missing here?
Hilda September 20, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Clearly Dan doesn't know what he's talking about. Dispatchers could take up to 10 calls on any given emergency call alone. Not to factor in all the calls that citizens make just to ask for directions. Dispatchers are the Officers life line and there are calls that dispatchers take that Officers don't even know about. Dispatchers take an abundance of calls in a day, week, months, and year. Thank you for your service dispatchers.
Dan Arnhem September 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I don't know what I'm talking about? Hey, I read the article, it mentions "calls".... It doesn't distinguish between whether there is 1 call or 20 calls about a given emergency. You threw that in and it has nothing to do with the article The article says "calls".... So if there are 10 calls for a emergency, then that counts as 10 calls. The rest of what you say is unimportant EXCEPT that the dispatchers take an abundance of calls in a day, week, month, etc. OK, you don't like my attempt to do some simple math so that the public can understand what appears to be a excessive cost "per call" (not per emergency) I might add, you say "not to factor in all the calls citizens make just to ask for directions.." Hilda, each of those is a "call'.... And Union City is saying each of those short calls is costing the city $45... That doesn't concern you?

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