By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The cities of Garden City, Wayne and Inkster approved contracts during recent council meetings to join Dearborn and Melvindale in the Dearborn United Dispatch Center.
The Wayne City Council voted unanimously March 19 in favor of join the consolidated dispatch center on condition that Westland, Garden City and Inkster all approve their individual contracts as well, the agenda read.
“A couple months ago, the mayor and I along with the then-police chief went to Dearborn and toured their facility and it is a very impressive facility,” Wayne Councilman Phillip Wagner said. “They can certainly handle the added calls and have room to expand also. They have the most up-to-date technology for dispatch technology. I didn’t understand it all but it was very impressive. I think this is a very good move.”
Wayne Acting Police Chief Ryan Strong and Wayne Mayor John Rhaesa agreed that joining the dispatch center in Dearborn was a good decision.
“I’ve toured the facility myself and the technology they have is amazing.” Strong said. “It will make all our officers’ lives easier.”
“I agree with that, I think it makes a lot of sense when multiple communities are on the same 911 service so that the 911 calls go to the same area,” Rhaesa said. “I think it’s a good thing for all of us and it’s actually getting better by doing this and we’re very encouraged by that.”
Wayne currently handles its non-emergency calls and also non-emergency calls for Garden City, which will continue when both cities join the consolidated dispatch.
The Garden City Council unanimously voted March 25 to join the Dearborn United Dispatch Center, as long as Wayne, Westland and Inkster also join. According to the meeting documents, Garden City will save $166,040 per year compared to its current dispatch agreement.
Garden City Police Chief Timothy Gibbons said the city has been examining the possibility of consolidating dispatch services with Dearborn for several years.
“Over this last little bit, we’ve been in discussion with Westland, Wayne and Inkster about the possibility of all of us going over to Dearborn at the same time and that has made some good progress,” Gibbons said. “The consolidation we believe will save the city a significant amount of money on just its service cost, we’ll also save from any capital upgrades needed.
“Cities can both increase service and save on capital by combining — making it a larger dispatch center than we’re already a part of helped us continue to save even more. Also, the dispatch plans, the way its staffed, the type of service they plan on providing I’ve had time to examine and I believe it will just do nothing but improve where we’re at today.”
The Inkster City Council unanimously passed a motion March 4 to approve the sample contract for the dispatch consolidation with Dearborn.
According to agreement documents, Wayne will pay $329,220 the first year, Garden City $243,960, Westland $738,300, and Inkster — if it joins — $534,120.
During years two through five, the charge for the upcoming fiscal year will be determined when the 12-month Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers is applied to the previous fiscal year charge, according to agreement documents.
In February, the Westland City Council approved its dispatch contract as long as Wayne, Garden City and Inkster also joined. Westland will be responsible for all wrapup costs, building restoration and equipment disposal at the current Westland dispatch facility if the four-city agreement happens.
In 2013, Westland, Wayne, Garden City and Inkster entered into an Interlocal Agreement to have Westland provide emergency dispatch services for all four communities.
The Dearborn City Council on March 12 unanimously approved incorporating the cities of Wayne, Garden City and Inkster to the city’s consolidated dispatch center. During the same meeting, the council approved the purchase of the VIPER/911 systems for the Police Department and dispatch division from West Safety Solutions for $146,821.
Dearborn Acting Finance Director Michael Kennedy said Dearborn would gain $94,000 by taking its $2.2 million in costs — subtracting legacy costs bringing the city’s total to $1.75 million — then collecting $1.84 million from Westland, Wayne, Garden City and Inkster based on the proposed contract.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)