St. Louis City Plan to Consolidate 911 Dispatch Operations Pending Approval

ST. LOUIS – A plan to consolidate 911 dispatch operations in the city of St. Louis will likely require state approval before it can become a reality.

The Post-Dispatch reported that a plan to merge all 911 dispatch services in the city is already under review. Now city officials are trying to figure out how the different unions would come together under the proposal.

Richard Frank, the city’s personnel director, spoke to the Alderman public security committee on Wednesday. The Post-Dispatch reported that Frank told the committee that the state mediation board should clarify whether dispatchers under the consolidation plan would be represented by city police or the fire union.

Frank said the move could involve a second round of affected union members. He told the public safety committee that he and his staff were reviewing the proposed consolidation plan and after that they would enter into negotiations with the police and fire unions. Acting Director of Public Safety Dan Isom has submitted a draft merger plan for 911 services in the city to Mayor Tishaura Jones.

The plan is to combine 911 centers this fall. Currently, all 911 calls are routed to police dispatchers. If fire department or EMS are needed, police dispatchers forward calls to separate 911 centers. This often causes delays in response times.

Staffing is another concern. The Post-Dispatch reported that Frank told the public safety committee that there are currently 25 police dispatcher positions and 9 fire dispatcher stations. FOX 2 has learned that 22 of the vacant police positions have been filled, but these workers still need to be trained.

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