Regionalizing Emergency Dispatch Wrong for Lakewood
There is talk of regionalizing Lakewood's emergency dispatch. Lakewood is a densely populated city with a busy dispatch line. Managing safety in Lakewood is a major function of our city government and we should be looking to support and expand our team of dispatchers, not outsource services and put Lakewood's families at risk. In an emergency, one minute lost to transferring calls is too long.
Last year, according to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission Report, 69 seconds elapsed between the time the first 911 call was made and the first officers were dispatched to Parkland Schools about a shooter on school grounds. The initial call was made in the first 3 seconds of the attack.
As a result of the city's regionalized emergency dispatch system, the call went to a neighboring city and then was transferred multiple times because the city to which the calls were directed did not provide services to the town and were confused about where to direct the calls for help.
In 69 seconds, the Parkland School shooter had already shot 24 victims; 17 teachers and students lost their lives that day.
In Lakewood just last week, a gunman opened fire on Robinwood Avenue. Lakewood police were at the scene very quickly, were able to apprehend the suspect, and no one was hurt. In addition to having some of the finest officers on staff in the nation to thank, we can also thank the work of Lakewood dispatchers.
We must keep our emergency dispatch here in Lakewood! I will fight on city council to protect the lives of our residents and effective emergency response. This is a matter of safety and can be the difference between life and death for our community and emergency responders.