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Murrysville delays dispatch decision

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 2:30 p.m.

Murrysville officials last week delayed a decision to transition police dispatching to the Westmoreland County 911 dispatching system.

Council July 24 voted 6-0 to table the issue until its Aug. 7 meeting.

“We're still working through things with the county,” Chief Administrator Jim Morrison said.

Police dispatching is handled by five dispatchers, two of whom are set to retire later this year. The contract for the municipal dispatchers' union expires on Dec. 31.

Morrison and Police Chief Tom Seefeld said it would be difficult for Murrysville to provide the same level of technology that the county uses for its dispatching services.

Officials have said that if the municipality moves to the countywide system, any remaining dispatchers would be offered positions as administrative assistants in the police department.

All three municipal fire departments and Medic One ambulance service are dispatched by the county, Morrison said.

There is no cost to use the countywide system; however there would be a charge to forward the existing emergency number — 724-327-2111 — to the county dispatch center. Morrison said there would be other minor transition costs. The total savings and impact on next year's budget will be evaluated this fall.

Council will next meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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