Thoughts On 911 Dispatch Outsourcing Meeting.

911 pic with fire policeWhere do I begin? Last night 7-19-2016, meeting about the 911 dispatch outsourcing to the City of Dearborn. The consultant from Dearborn was there to ‘sell’ their product. I say that because that is what they are selling a product that product is 911 dispatch we the City of Dearborn Heights are the customer. So the sell job was all about the savings $243,000.00 a year that savings, as the Mayor said will be going to give the employees their 10% pay cuts back.-from what I hear the chief of police has gotten his 10% already.-Now if you Mr. Mayor can’t give those employees their money back without having to outsource our 911 dispatch then you have some explaining to do. That’s first, second why are we talking about giving their money back before we have the discussion about going back to having our City open five days a week?

The consultant talked about making sure that the money would be available for updating equipment in the future. So we (the City) wouldn’t have to worry about doing that anymore. As it turns out the Mayor hasn’t been doing that. Something we all got to find out thanks to resident Lisa Farrens who asked the question. Councilman Ray Muscat pointed out that  in some cases equipment cost in the millions and savings for each year is over a hundred thousand  a year x 5 years giving around seven hundred thousand not enough to pay for the equipment. Well, the sales rep from Dearborn Said, of course, we wouldn’t be paying for equipment all at once. Sorry to ask this, but one piece of equipment not several is over a million dollars and according to what was said the equipment is outdated after five years.

The contract is for five years so after five years there wouldn’t be enough money to replace the million dollar piece of equipment. The way I see it either that wouldn’t be replaced at five years or they (Dearborn) will be coming to us with hat in hand selling us again on why they need more money to replace the outdated equipment.

Just in time for the contract to expire

and for them (the City of Dearborn) to raise the price. With no exit strategy something else we found out last night we would be at the mercy of the City of Dearborn. Knowing the history of how the City of Dearborn mishandles projects and the wasting of hundreds of millions of dollars ie the CSO project, parking structures on the west end of Dearborn, the civic center, and the new administration building to name a few. With this record, the City of Dearborn Heights must think a million times before they put our lives in their hands.911 dispatch Dearborn Heights

The consultant of Dearborn when asked can we sign up for this at any time if we decided not to sign up with you now? Yes even in three years we can still get on board.  Only one City has to sign up for this although it will affect the cost if all do not. As stated all they need is one City now they have two for sure the City of Inkster and Garden City. I say go ahead with these two City’s who don’t have dispatch operators and don’t have equipment that you need. Let’s sit back see how this goes for those two communities and if after three years or two years we still want to do this we can. Our equipment is good for another two-three years before it’s outdated.

It’s important to understand that the equipment that the Police IT was talking about has to be replaced ill regardless of us moving to Dearborn or not. (more on that in a later post)

It’s going to be up to the City Council to vote yes or no on this it’s up to each of us to make sure we know just what is happening here. We need to keep up to date on all the facts. Have all the numbers and each of us has to make sure we let our council members know how we feel about this. The most important question I will ask does this Make A Difference for the better in our City? #madindh #makeadifference

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts On 911 Dispatch Outsourcing Meeting.”

  1. If I thought for one minute that the savings would be put into a savings account to use for an exit plan I would think about it. That isn’t the case and will not be the case. The Mayor of Dearborn Heights isn’t interested in doing what’s best for the residents – he’s interested in making sure he looks good for his up-coming election. This issue is going to hit him no matter what way the City Council votes on this with the money he’s getting from the savings he can go before the public and say look I saved the City. As I said before we didn’t get a memo that said hey folks I’m going to give a ten percent pay cut, but eight years down the road I’m going to sell our 911 dispatch system and outsource it. A lot to think about thank you for going to the meeting good to hear a different point of view.

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  2. An interesting view on the 911 meeting , and of course you are correct, it was a ‘sell’ job, you and others asked Dearborn for the details, and Dearborn ‘presented’ them to you.

    Dearborn answered all questions as they occurred to council members, and the presentation was stopped multiple times to give complete answers.

    Savings of $243,000 per year starting immediately to the city of Dearborn Hts is one heck of a significant benefit! How Dbn Hts spends the savings is not Dearborn’s business. Dearborn has enough problems of it’s own, as you have pointed out, and all I can say is that politicians “know their trade well”…..in any city…….The fact is, Dearborn is saving Dbn Hts $243k a year, and doing it while providing superior service with respect to 911 calls. Prompt response time was a question brought up often, and answers given time and again to multiple council members at the meeting. It was obvious from the answers and facts, both from Dbn Hts and Dearborn dispatchers present at the meeting who were asked for their opinions, that the best immediate response time was dependent on modern equipment.

    If Dbn Hts goes it alone on their already ‘starting to get old’ equipment, where is the money and savings going to come from to replace it? Why not put the $243k savings in a reserve fund, and after 5 years of a tryout with Dearborn, Dbn Hts will have close to 1.2 million dollars saved to buy it’s own system if the tryout goes ‘sour’. Remember, tech stuff gets better, and cheaper, as time goes on, so the cost will likely be less. If Dbn Hts goes it alone, the savings are moot, and so are the 10% paybacks you spoke of, so, instead of giving the 10% paybacks, again, put the money in a reserve fund instead. the Mayor seemed intelligent, he can see that this would be a sound exit strategy, and one way to fund it without raising taxes from the residents….

    Regarding concerns of Dearborn upgrading the equipment and keeping it top notch with their 100k per year reserve estimate, keep in mind that these are multiple pieces of equipment that are replaced piecemeal, not all at once. One year the phones are replaced, another year the chairs, another year the servers, etc…..just like parts in an airplane, replaced in advance of the end of their service life. Some parts last 10 years, others last 3 years, let that schedule be Dearborn’s problem to resolve, and remember, after 5 years, Dbn Hts can evaluate, and if they decide to leave, they could have 1.2 million in reserve, generated by Dearborn, not the residents of Dbn Hts, in savings to go to another system. My bet is that they will stick with Dearborn’s 911 plan…… As you mention, the Dbn Hts mayor has his plans for that $243k….yessiree…….

    You bring up other points, but your last point is important, “does this make a difference for the better for the city?” I think the answer is a ‘no brainer’. YES it is better. Instant savings which can be used for an exit plan, less cost to Dearborn Hts via less employees and their associated costs, and better 911 response over the ‘already getting old’ system that Dearborn Hts currently uses.

    There are times to stand alone, and times to stand together. When the time comes to save money, for an equal or better outcome, mergers are the answer. Better efficiency, larger pool of resources, , the residents are better served as a result.

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