STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) - There is forward progress in an effort to create one joint dispatch center for emergency services in Portage County. The Stevens Point Police and Fire Commission along with the City Council met in closed session before the regular Monday night council meeting to discuss the issues.
Mayor Andrew Halverson says he’s optimistic the city and the county can combine their efforts. “The Council has formulated a negotiation strategy that I think they can live with. I think we need to get that back to the county as quick as we can, go over those, and see if we can’t come to an agreement on creating a unified dispatch center, so I think we’ve got some good conversations and we obviously have to have several different angles of those conversations with the county again and we’ll see if we can move this forward.”
Right now, the city and the county operate separate dispatch centers across the street from each other. Portage County is in the middle of a dispatch center remodelling and upgrade, which will bring in more modernized 9-1-1 equipment.
Portage County Executive Patty Dreier says if they’re going to get together, this is the right time so both entities can save money upgrading the 9-1-1 system and so services can be dispatched more efficiently.
Halverson confirms that Monday’s meeting has produced a draft contract they can present to Portage County.
Stevens Point Police Chief Kevin Ruder says last year, their department alone handled over 29-thousand calls.