Chillicothe dispatchers began their 12-hour, three-part training this week on the new 911 system that is expected to go online by today.
Chillicothe dispatchers began their 12-hour, three-part training this week on the new 911 system that is expected to go online by today. Although they have recently hired a new dispatcher to get their roster back to a total of six, Cindy Havanan presented to City Council members on Monday the need for a seventh dispatcher in 2018. The request comes now, so if approved, there will be time to introduce the new expense to budget planners for 2018. Livingston County is responsible for 37 percent of the budget for the department as part of a contract made four years ago when the county jail was closed, and the city dispatchers took on the entire workload. The 911 advisory board approved a seventh dispatcher a few years ago, but the position was cut from the budget. Havanan discussed what the financial toll would be in adding a seventh dispatcher. She explained that it might not be as difficult as taking on an all-new salary, since the city paid in excess of $17,000 for more than 650 overtime hours last year. In Hanavan’s presentation, she explained that the department is responsible for nine sheriff’s deputies, all of the fire and ambulance department, rural fire departments, eight state fire marshal offices, the 17 city of Chillicothe officers, eight officers for Gallatin and, although they do not provide services for state troopers, they do come in for assistance from time to time. Dispatchers also input warrants, missing persons and vehicles, for Chillicothe and Livingston County, while providing those same services to Gallatin as well. The crew also monitors 20 surveillance cameras, 15 radio frequencies, while they are in multiple programs on the computer, and have monthly training that is required. Havanan also pointed out that when there were two dispatch centers, one for the city and one for the county, there was a total of 12 dispatchers between the two and noted that the volume has increased since that time. According to Havanan, comparable departments in other cities and county dispatchers have a lower rate of volume to personnel. Bolivar, she pointed out does a little higher volume with 14 dispatchers compared to Chillicothe’s six. Moberly has a little higher volume and does so with eight dispatchers. In Cameron, there are eight dispatchers and have a little lighter volume than in Chillicothe. As the dispatch office manager, Havanan said that with the addition of a seventh dispatcher, the unit can improve to two dispatchers at all of the high volume times of the day. The council agreed to consider her request.