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911 is no joke
Fort Wayne Reader
The Earth spins on its axis, the seasons change, continents crumble into the sea… and the issue of 911 consolidation between the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County remains unresolved.
Currently, the 911 response departments for the city and the county are situated in two rooms separated by a glass wall, occasionally necessitating a transfer from one center to the other, a delay that might cost precious seconds in an emergency.
After Mayor Henry submitted the 2010 budget to city council in late September, councilman Tim Pape (D-5th) said he would propose eliminating over $6 million from the city’s communications budget in order to force the issue of a single call center and put Allen County in charge of handling all emergency calls (outside New Haven).
Pape proposed the same thing last year, and while he was only able to garner support from Glynn Hines and Mitch Harper, several other council members said they might be interested in the proposal for 2010 if no progress had been made on the issue.
And now, here we are, with city budget wrangling set to begin on October 1. Pape’s proposal is pretty dramatic, but then again, the whole issue of a single city/county 911 response center has been around — unresolved — for years, with the usual point of contention being over who should manage the department. The city has proposed a joint board as overseer (that’s the plan Pape supports). The city budget negotiations might finally yield a solution.