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Murrysville to begin using county dispatch service

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, 10:15 p.m.
 

After decades of being handled by an in-house dispatch center, police calls in Murrysville will be handled by Westmoreland County 911 beginning Dec. 1.

Murrysville Council voted 6-0 on Wednesday to transition to the county 911 dispatch service, with officials citing a need to keep up with future technological advances. Councilman Jeff Kepler was absent.

“With the world as it is and becoming more and more technology based, I think that Murrysville moving to the county 911 system is going to have to happen at some point, regardless,” Councilman Josh Lorenz said. “It seems everything is aligned to make now be the logical (time for the) maneuver.”

Council last reviewed the in-house system in 2005 and opted to remain separate from the county program. At the time, Police Chief Tom Seefeld was against the plan.

That has changed.

“I'm in support of this, and I believe it's time to move forward,” Seefeld said. “I don't believe in any way that safety and security will be lost here.”

The plan was met with some resistance from residents. Valerie and Ed Mittereder presented a petition with 200 signatures from residents who oppose the change.

“The police station is a safe place,” Valerie Mittereder said. “You can go there when there's a problem.”

The couple said they worry that police won't be as accessible or available when the county system is enacted. Seefeld said that won't be the case.

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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