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Upscale Chocolatier Coming to Downtown Millburn

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, .

The six Millburn dispatchers , 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. 

Kris August 08, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Seriously? I think I'll opt for the extra $5.81 to keep dispatch here and stay safer... That's not even the price of a sandwich at the freaking Millburn Deli... I don't think a police dispatcher is something that should be OUTSOURCED for a savings of $5.81... Hope I'm not the only one!!
millresident August 09, 2012 at 03:01 AM
No. Your not the only one. Unfortunately posting comments on Patch will not change anything. Residents need to be at the meeting!
Nick August 09, 2012 at 03:42 AM
They got rid of our local dispatch and sent it to county to save a few bucks and now the county wants to charge double due to underestimating work load. I feel sorry for Millburn residents, that was a very busy town when my family lived there and depends on all their emergency serivices to only have that town as the primary concern.
njpride August 09, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Why fix something that is not broken. Let's fix the bureaucratic mess of a town and make true progress. As a longtime resident of Short Hills/Millburn who truly believes it to be one of the best towns in NJ, I have experienced crime last year at my home in town. The keystone cops force that we have here made me uncomfortable going forward. Everything was secure, locked, and protected. I learned by research after the fact, the crime scene was mishandled. The response was rapid and this was due to the great dispatch. The show of force seemed to only act as a way to help make us feel comfortable. But since the crime, I have seen no evidence of any desire to help solve these crimes. After the crime and filing the report I have never heard a word from anyone regarding the crime. I have called 2 times and emailed 2 times and never a response. With the number of people on the force and the multiple levels above them, it is time to put citizens first and work on things that make the residents comfortable. I challenge the group that is looking at ways to make the government more effective to work on areas that make a difference. Stop wasting time and money on rubbing nickels together to make pennies on something that works well.
njpride August 09, 2012 at 11:32 AM
By the way going to meetings in this town only make things worse. Look at the school board mess and the disrespect for the process and system that both sides felt after all the meetings. With a town of intelligent and hard charging residents, let’s tap those resources in a professional, respectful manner that would love to help keep this town on the top of the lists and keep it a truly great place to live.
Parsonage Hill Road August 09, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I support the Millburn Police Department. My house was also broken into, the police and detectives were wonderful. They kept me informed during the entire process and even got the guy. This person telling us not to go to a public meeting sounds very suspicious like someone who doesn’t want us to participate in the democratic process. And while we are talking about this, did you see the Mayor’s quote in the Item, “everyone should take a deep breath.” How dare she, we have the right to be concerned, to raise our concerns, and to be active in government. Sorry Mayor, you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar. You didn’t even know who was on your subcommittee. I also can’t seem to find anything in any of the online Township Committee Minutes or the Item or Patch that you appointed this subcommittee? Is this more stuff being done out of the view of the voters? Maybe violations of the sun-shine laws? I think someone should investigate our Township Committee.
Sam James August 09, 2012 at 06:25 PM
When is the meeting? For those who would like to express their opinions.
millresident August 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Great question, parsonage hill. I'd like to know at what meeting this sub-committee was formed. Craig can you investigate?
millresident August 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM
From what I have read, the mayor said September. Two meetings scheduled in September 11 and 25. They could slip it in on August 21. Without the agenda being posted its hard to know.
Craig McCarthy August 09, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Yes, I'll look into it.
Good Government August 10, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Craig: Since a lot of us don’t believe we have been told the complete truth so far on this issue, can you also request the following under the Open Public Records Act (and post same on the Patch): 1) When and where were the subcommittee meetings held? 2) Who was at the meetings? Including elected officials and members of the municipal staff. 3) The minutes that they should be keeping from the meetings. 4) If the members of the Township Committee gave reports afterwards at the next scheduled Township Committee Meeting? And if they didn’t why not? If the Township can’t readily provide this information, I think it might be time to ask for further investigation. Also, we would need a response by the Township Clerk as to who, when, and why this information could not be provided.
Sagamore mom 143 August 11, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Guess the article in the paper isn't here to be commented on, but the dispatchers' claims are true and the fact now that the town administrator AND the mayor are denying this ever happened is absurd. Why have a closed door meeting with the dispatchers? Why have their union representative and lead dispatcher go into a meeting with Mr Gordon and be told this would happen?? Fess up to your statements, stop hiding behind the paper and dodging questions or having the mayor cover for you :)
Craig McCarthy August 11, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Sagamore mom 143, this is where the dispatchers announced they were told: http://patch.com/A-w9mv
Sagamore mom 143 August 11, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Yes but according to yesterday's Item, Mayor says no decision made on dispatcher move, "Haimoff, however, maintains that Gordon has never stated that a final decision has been made. She said last week she is unaware that anything definite was stated at the meeting and that emotions are running high over the issue." That comment is a lie. That's what I was referring to, my apologies for not being clear. Someone else should "take a deep breath," and fess up.
MillburnDPW August 11, 2012 at 04:04 PM
This is just like when they got rid of sanitation at Millburn DPW. It was all done in secret and out of the public’s eye until Gordon and his subordinates –The Township Committee sprung it on the public. We all knew about it for over 2-years, before any public mention. Thank God the Police have more guts than we did and are at least fighting the dictator Tim Gordon. Oh and if you think privatization of sanitation is really working well (like they keep saying), you are not answering the same telephone I am.
Kris August 12, 2012 at 10:49 PM
From reading all of the related articles the past few weeks, it seems pretty ridiculous how this is all being handled by the township's administration. Any residents and business owners reading this should be disgusted with how the administration is constantly making big decisions without the residents and effected parties having ANY input or even KNOWING of them before they are already acted out on. I hope people here realize too that decreasing public safety in this town will absolutely effect the home prices! This town is a prestigous place to live BECAUSE of its schools, SAFETY and location close to the city. Sharing a service such as dispatch will absolutely decrease public safety in a town that should probably have MORE of it. With all the urban towns East of us laying off cops and decreasing their public safety, this town needs to step up, not step back and allow crime to come in. As this place becomes less safe with the same taxes, more people will leave. With more houses on the market here, the prices will decrease even more. Decreasing this town's public safety to not even give the tax payer a break is just reckless. It truly sounds like the government in Millburn and Short Hills is quite simply CORRUPT! I think its time for the entire staff at Town Hall to go. I really hope I'm not the only one seeing this as being an issue...
Kris August 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Can someone find out EXACTLY how much the town is spending on dispatching the Fire Department through Summit? From what I am reading it is over $200,000.00 / year! That's ridiculous!! I never even knew the fire department dispatch was outsourced, but knowing it now makes me irate. If 911 calls are already fielded by the police dispatchers, WHY in the world are they not just dispatching the fire department at that point? Fires develop very rapidly and there is NO logical reason to add another step to that process causing further delay in response at a cost to the taxpayers! What if the call is lost mid-transfer from the police dispatch to Summit dispatch? I am no fire expert, however I suppose it could be the difference between life and death in numerous situations. I also wonder what is going to happen to the fire dispatch since Summit is currently looking at going to a County wide dispatch in Union County. I would have to imagine that the county dispatch will cost more money us than utilizing the basic fire dispatch out of Summit. Will that mean further cost to Millburn taxpayers?? Is there a good and logical reason the fire department doesn't just start dispatching out of the police dispatch?? It would have to be cheaper than the $200,000.00+ currently being spent to outsource it. Plus, it would SAVE the town money AND get fire trucks to fire calls quicker! Seems like a win win situation to me.
Joe August 20, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Kris I agree 100%. The best choise for the township is simple. Keep the dispatch in town and move the FD dispatch back to who should be doing it. We gain by having a better response from the FD and saving 200k per year. Thats a win-win in my book.


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