Date: November 29, 2019
Contact: Borough Manager’s Office, 228-6625
For Immediate Release
The Alaska Department of Public Safety has notified the Ketchikan Gateway Borough of its intent to relocate all dispatch employees from the Ketchikan Trooper facility to Anchorage by 2021.
According to the Department of Public Safety, beginning with an FY 2019 capital appropriation of $3.5 million (SB142), DPS has initiated a project to unify regional emergency dispatch services to a new center in a State-owned facility in Anchorage and to establish the foundation for implementing enhanced 911 services across the state.
DPS expects to produce cost savings and operational efficiencies by combining emergency dispatch services currently provided by Ketchikan, Wasilla, and Soldotna into one center. This will result in the transfer of the seven Ketchikan-based Emergency Services Dispatcher positions to Anchorage by July 2021.
Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor Rodney Dial conducted a teleconference with DPS Deputy Commissioner Leon Morgan on November 27, to receive an update on the proposed change. Specifically, Mayor Dial asked if technological upgrades would allow the Ketchikan dispatch center to provide the desired State services remotely from Ketchikan. According to the Deputy Commissioner, it is feasible, but would result in additional expenditures and reduce efficiencies expected as a result of this project. Additional information has been requested and will be evaluated when received.
“I am currently seeking justification for why the Ketchikan dispatch center could not remotely network with an Anchorage dispatch center to accomplish the goal of DPS while continuing to provide local services to Ketchikan,” said Mayor Dial. “I am concerned that this change could result in diminished services to the citizens and Troopers in Ketchikan.”
The Borough will be working with State Representative Dan Ortiz and Senator Stedman to explore alternatives that would keep the dispatch positions in Ketchikan and to assure that State required services are not diminished for Borough residents.
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