Bangor City Officials Vote on 9-1-1 Call Dispatch Transfer

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) Bangor City Councilors voted to transfer 9-1-1 calls from city dispatch to the Penobscot Regional Communication Center Wednesday night.

We're told the need for new fire and police protocols while answering emergency calls is behind it.

City officials say they would have had to hire and train additional dispatchers to handle the call load at city dispatch which would cost Bangor taxpayers a lot more money.

They say keeping non-emergency calls at city dispatch and transferring emergency calls to the county dispatch two blocks away will improve service.

City Councilor Cary Weston says, "We have essentially 180 some odd thousand calls a year that come into the Bangor dispatch. Of those 180,000 calls,150,000 plus or minus are non-emergency, non 9-1-1. So, about 26,000 9-1-1 calls a year come in. So, those are the calls that will be shifted over to the county. What that allows us to do is pay more attention to the 9-1-1 emergency calls as well as give local dispatchers time and quality of service for those 150 some odd thousand calls that come in and so they can be better responding, more consistent on the radio, and make sure that the citizens that have non-emergency needs have full attention as well."

"I know there has been a perception of, boy will this delay service. If anything it's actually going to enhance the quality of service that you receive anywhere," said Chad Labree, Executive Director of Penobscot Regional Communication Center.

The matter passed in a unanimous vote. The transfer would take place no later than next June.