Roswell 911 Emergency Services are continuing efforts for better safety in the city with plans for a new dispatch center.

Police Chief Helen Dunkin appeared before Mayor and Council on March 25 to speak about the project.

According to Dunkin an “in-depth study” of the center conducted in 2016 discovered “infrastructure issues of medium and high risk,” ultimately resulting in the “need for a new 911 center.”

According to the study Chief Dunkin referenced, “major recommendations from the initial report was for the city to construct a backup 911 Center to provide an alternate location in the event of a disaster.”

The new center could be “a stand-alone facility or an addition to an existing structure” and is required to be “equipped with all the capabilities of the existing center to ensure no reduction in operational efficiency when needed.”

A new 911 Dispatch Center is intended to “satisfy the long-term needs of the city going forward.”

The new facility is anticipated to include upgraded features such as: a dispatch area for 10 dispatchers; offices for eight personnel; a 9-1-1 technology equipment room with space for maintenance tech; bunk room; locker room with 20 lockers and benches; bathroom and shower facilities, Kitchen and lunch/break room and training area with class and conference room.

Upgraded features were determined to be “difficult to retrofit into the existing” 911 center.

The recommendation is for the new structure to ultimately “become the primary center” and for the existing center to undergo improvements, then utilized as a “back-up center going forward.”

The 2016 study suggested “additions and modifications to the structure, power systems, water supply, HVAC and data network” for the existing center.

Suggested work includes, but is not limited to: “retrofit windows in existing 911 center with impact glass,” “install storm shutters for new windows,” and a power supply replacement “as part of routine equipment replacement.”

According to the study, a new 911 Center could play a “crucial part of ensuring that the city’s First Responders can quickly and efficiently serve the city’s residents in times of crisis and disaster.”

“The specifics and timeline of this approach could be customized to meet specific city and department needs,” said the report.

Dunkin noted the cost of the project is “anticipated to be $5.5 million.”

The requested fundng of an “additional $400,000” would meet the design element financial need and be able to move the project forward.

Dunkin noted the “plan is to use impact fees as a funding source” for the new center.

Councilwoman Marie Willsey moved to approve, with a second by Councilman Matt Judy and it received unanimous approval.

The Neighbor will continue to provide updates on the project as details become available.

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