Alliance, Box Butte Co. closer to combined dispatch services

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It's not a matter of if the Alliance Police Department and Box Butte County Sheriff's Office will offer combined dispatch services, but when.

That message came through loud and clear during a joint two-hour meeting of the Box Butte County Commissioners and Alliance City Council Monday morning at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center.

It was noted that other Nebraska counties, such as Cheyenne (Sidney) and Keith (Ogallala) have gone to a combined dispatch service and that the results have been positive in the area of efficiency and public service.

City of Alliance Head Dispatcher Brandy Dahlberg stressed that the dispatchers for the two entities currently work six feet from one another, and know the duties of each operation fairly well. She says the dispatchers work well together, and that no E-911 call goes unanswered, no matter the jurisdiction.

County Commissioner Doug Hashman stated that the county is willing to take over coordination of a central dispatch headquarters, but that the county and city would need to work out the finances. Hashman says it is the county's belief that a central dispatch station should remain at the Law Enforcement Center at 5th and Niobrara. There had been discussion of possibly relocating it to the basement of the Slagle Building located one block to the west.

Dahlberg stated that there is no industry standard, but that this would be a step in the right direction for efficiency and serving the public."

Both parties agreed that several logistics would need to be worked out, including funding and employee structure and how Hemingford will fit into the equation.

A target date on combining the dispatch services was not set.

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