Wexford County 911 Stays Local, County Creates New Department
After much debate, Wexford County is keeping its emergency dispatch services local.
Services for 911 could not stay the same, but the question was where to go. There were offers from both Grand Traverse County and Meceola Central Dispatch to consolidate.
County commissioners decided unanimously on Wednesday to keep dispatch local and not outsource to other counties.
A new county department will be created with its own staff and office space.
Dispatch has been at the Wexford County Sheriff’s Department for many years, but for financial reasons, that can’t continue.
Commissioner Judy Nichols says staying local is what the community wanted when they voted for a higher 911 surcharge last November.
“It’s comfort,” she says. “They know that the people that are dispatchers in our county know our roads, they know our area. There’s a personal bond, and that’s keeping jobs in Wexford County, which adds to our economy.”
The county commissioners’ next steps are to appoint an advisory committee.
The committee will govern the new dispatch department in conjunction with the county board.