The Spokane City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday which would require Spokane firefighters and police officers to only work with dispatchers who are city employees.
City Council President Ben Stuckart, who sponsored the ordinance, said it was designed to reassure city employees and maintain city control over dispatch services in the face of a potential region-wide communications integration.
Local dispatchers could become part of a countywide 911 system, formally known as Spocom and now Spokane Emergency Regional Communications, as soon as next year. The SREC board recently hired a director for the new center and claimed that an integrated system would improve response times and public safety.
Stuckart said he had spoke to the new director Monday, but was not satisfied that the new 911 Center would save money or improve public safety.
Several local dispatchers and firefighters testified during the council meeting, saying that an integrated system may not improve response time or firefighter safety. Several dispatchers also asked for the city council to keep the system the same.
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