One dispatch center for Eastern Oregon

One dispatch center for Eastern Oregon
HERMISTON, Oregon - Hermiston is taking the lead on tying 10 police agencies and dozens of fire districts together.

They'll use a single dispatch center.

The goal is to get to you faster and save hundreds of thousands in the process.

You hope to never call 911. But if you do, you want help immediately.
David Florea just went through this with his father-in-law.

"My wife actually made the emergency call, this was here in the city, and the ambulance response was incredibly fast," he said.

This isn't the case everywhere in Eastern Oregon, especially the further out of town you are.

The current system has a lag time. Calls come into one dispatch center and get passed on to the one nearest you. Hermiston Police are working to tie 10 police agencies and dozens of fire districts to one call center.

From Weston to Boardman, every 911 call will be routed to the same team of operators.

Eventually every dispatch center in the state may be required to consolidate. This part of Oregon is just simply jumping ahead of the curve, making sure the transition is smooth and they can do it on their own terms.

This means first responders could get to you faster, it will also save hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars every year. Not to mention the money you could save in homeowners insurance. An agent could look at response times and lower your rates based on how quickly crews are known to arrive.

These changes will also include the launch of a new crime mapping system. Data will be shared between departments to catch more criminals.

Capt. Travis Eynon, with Hermiston PD said,"Right now is a good time for us to look at doing it on our own, on our own terms, our records management system is extremely important to us."

The robust overhaul of the current way police do business in this region may save money and save a life.

David said,"There's gonna be grousing and concern and out and out distrust but in the long run I think it's obviously gonna be much, much better than what we have now."

City council will consider this move next month. If adopted, the new plan could start as early as January.