Millburn PBA Raises Concerns of Losing Local Dispatch
The president of the Millburn PBA wrote a letter to Chief Gregory Weber
After the township announced its proposal for Livingston Police possibly taking over Millburn dispatch, concerns have been raised by residents and officials.
The six Millburn dispatchers released a statement following the announcement, they were told at the end of May they were losing their jobs starting Jan. 1, 2013, although township officials said the proposal for shared services has not been voted on yet.
On Monday, the president of the local PBA, Michael Fattal wrote a letter to Chief Gregory Weber listing the concerns of the local law enforcement that they ask to be addressed before the shared services take effect. The full letter is attached as a PDF for residents to review.
"It is an unfair and unjust service to the public to have our dispatch center moved," Fattal said.
The letter described, in detail, what the dispatchers do in the police headquarters to assist the department in the day-to-day operations. It has concerns the police officers will be forced to take on these responsibilities leading to an inefficient department.
Without the dispatchers in headquarters Fattal asked, "What will happen with prisoner watches? Will overtime be hired? Will we work on the road at minimum manpower?"
According to the letter, it said Livingston has two dispatchers on each shift and is not adding anymore staff per shift. Fattal questioned what Livingston dispatch will do and if they can handle the work load with its current staff.
"If dispatch was relocated to Livingston, the average property tax payer in Millburn/Short Hills will save $5.81 annually, which equals 2¢ (0.0159) daily, excluding the start up costs as well as the yearly maintenance cost," Fattal said.
The draft of the shared services will cost $236,000 annually with a inflammation rate of about 5 percent Fattal said. Millburn will pay 40 percent of equipment, wiring and other maintenance costs. The township will also pay 100 percent of telephone lease lines for video transmission, which is an unknown cost.
"Is an average of 20¢ a day worth dissolving dispatch for Millburn/Short Hills?" Fattal asked.
Currently, the Millburn dispatchers cost an average taxpayer an estimated $73 annually and with the shared services proposal it will lower the costs to an estimated $67.
"The Millburn dispatchers are our first line of communication, under the authority of the Chief," Fattal said. "Without the continued service of our dispatch center, we believe it may hinder our ability to maintain that long tradition of excellence."
The full letter is attached as a PDF for residents to review.