Crawford County considers contracting with Roscommon for dispatch service
Tue, 03/09/2021 - 10:44am caleb
Local officials say move would save both counties money, but it would mean elimination of a few local jobs
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
A proposed change in emergency dispatch for Crawford County – contracting with Roscommon County for the service – would mean a significant cost savings for the counties, but it would also force a few local jobs to be lost, according to county officials.
Crawford County Administrator Paul Compo said there are several “hoops to jump through” to finalize the details of the plan, and the proposal would have to be approved by the Roscommon County Board of Commissioners, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, and the Roscommon County dispatch authority board before taking effect.
“There’s a lot of phases where this could stall,” said Crawford County Sheriff Shawn M. Kraycs.
Compo and Sheriff Kraycs said consolidations of dispatch service are becoming more frequent statewide as communication technology advances.
With current technology, one site would be sufficient to provide emergency dispatch service for both Roscommon and Crawford counties, they said.
“Why have multiple dispatch centers when one could do it?” Sheriff Kraycs said.
Kraycs and Compo said Crawford County contracting with Roscommon County for dispatch service should save taxpayers money in both counties. They said the surcharge to pay for emergency dispatch “isn’t keeping up with the cost.”
A downside to the plan for Crawford County would be a loss of jobs. Compo said the county has six full-time dispatch positions (one is currently vacant) and two part-time positions.
“It’s not being received well by some of the employees over there but that’s understandable,” Sheriff Kraycs said.
“It’s five livelihoods. We recognize it and we have to be aware of it,” Compo said.
Compo said Roscommon County officials have agreed to “vet and interview” Crawford County dispatch workers if the change is made, but they would not guarantee that any of them would be hired.
Sheriff Kraycs said Roscommon County dispatch currently has four vacancies. Compo and Kraycs said many dispatch sites in the state of Michigan are having a difficult time finding people to fill job vacancies due to the necessary qualifications.
Compo said preliminary meetings with Roscommon County officials have gone well. He said Roscommon County dispatch has an authority board and an advisory board and Crawford County would like representation on both.
“We wanted to have a voice,” Compo said. “At the moment, Roscommon County seems open to that.”
Compo said issues of “control” could possibly prevent the proposal from being approved.
“Is this going to go through? Who knows? It makes sense,” Compo said.