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Jasper County Sheriff to change dispatch center - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County Sheriff to change dispatch center

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Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser is reversing a decision made the county's former sheriff, Archie Dunn.  It involves a difference of opinion over the best way to dispatch sheriff's deputies.

Sheriff Kaiser will consolidate his dispatchers with the county's area-wide dispatch center.  Kaiser says there will be challenges.  Dispatchers will soon have to use common codes and other forms of communication between them and police.

In 2010, then Sheriff Archie Dunn separated his department's dispatch from the county-wide emergency dispatch center known as JASCO.

"I never complained about the price I was paying for dispatch services, but I was getting what I was paying for," says Dunn.

Sheriff Kaiser is reversing that decision.

"Even before my election to this office the idea had come to my mind that this would be a better way to do things, but also I wasn't here, I didn't fully understand the dynamics of the operation here," says Sheriff Kaiser.

Sheriff Kaiser says deputies received about 29,000 calls for service last year.

Emergency calls made from rural areas are first answered by JASCO.  Dispatchers there ask questions then transfer the call to sheriff's dispatchers in a different location.  They too ask questions.

Sheriff Kaiser says every second counts.

"In the middle of the night when somebody is trying to kick in your door 30 seconds may seem like a long time and in fact it is," says Sheriff Kaiser.

He wants that time back.  He says combining dispatch services will save the sheriff's department $450,000 a year within two years.

No sheriff's dispatchers will be fired.  Instead they'll be given different positions.  Over time, as those former dispatchers retire or leave, the positions will be eliminated.

Sheriff Kaiser says the move will be financially efficient since taxpayers won't pay for duplicate dispatch services.

Carthage police also have their own dispatch but Police Chief Greg Dagnan isn't willing to consolidate into JASCO yet.

"If I call the 911 center tomorrow and I say 'I want you to dispatch for me' they couldn't do it without some money from another source," says Chief Dagnan.

County and city police agree consolidation happens after their budgets and resources are balanced.  It may be difficult making that happen, but police say the goal of faster response times is worth it.

JASCO will dispatch 911 calls for every police agency in Jasper County except Joplin, Carl Junction, Webb City and Carthage.

As part of the agreement the sheriff's office will give its dispatch equipment to JASCO.  JasCo will then provide dispatch services to deputies for free.

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