Framingham Seeking $250,000 For Joint Fire-Police-DPW Dispatch Center

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FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham is requesting $250,000 for a study and initial design services to support its move towards creating a joint dispatch center that combines the Police, Fire, and Public Work Departments’ dispatch operations.

“The purpose would be to provide a better and more rapid response and stay connected across departments,” wrote the Spicer administration to Congresswoman Katherine Clark in seeking Community Project funding.

The current system includes three separate operations by department.

Framingham DPW operates via two radio stations, which then goes to one station during storms via the Emergency Operations Center.

Framingham Police Department currently has its dispatch run out of a space in the lobby in the Police Department.

“Happenings in the lobby can be disruptive to dispatch operations, and officers are used to augment the dispatch position, but freeing them up would mean more officers are available to be on the street and for community policing initiatives,” wrote the Spicer administration in the request.

Framingham Fire Department has one person operating in its dispatch room, managing 20,000 to 25,000 calls annually.

“The dispatch/staffing communication specialist position has become increasingly professionalized, requiring recertifications and specialized skills to do the job well,” wrote the Spicer administration. “The way the dispatch operations are set up across these three departments does not reflect that. This joint dispatch setup of and transition to a Joint Dispatch Center is a complex undertaking and will require extensive planning in order for the center to be reliable and efficient.”

The study would include an “analysis of needed equipment, strategic placement, site requirements and possibilities, and transition planning,” wrote the administration.

“This study would build upon the initial work already done via a $20,000 tranche of state funding for a joint dispatch feasibility study,” wrote the administration. “The City of Framingham is host to major railroad and highway corridors for the State, significant areas of reservoirs, multiple worldwide corporate headquarters/hubs, and significant portion of the Boston Marathon event.”

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