Westport ready to join Fairfield 911 dispatch center, comes with concerns

Fairfield police and fire departments have been working out of a new dispatch center at Sacred Heart University for the last year. Westport police and fire departments will join Wednesday.

Mark Sudol

Feb 28, 2023, 10:35 PM

Updated 448 days ago

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Two local towns are ready to merge their 911 dispatch centers into one, but for some there's a bit of a disconnect.
Fairfield police and fire departments have been working out of a new dispatch center at Sacred Heart University for the last year. Westport police and fire departments will join Wednesday.
"This will only improve response time and connectivity to the community and to the inter agencies, said Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick."
"We're thrilled. It's all good news. And as you know first in the state of Connecticut. We feel like we're really setting the trend here," said Westport First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker.
The state of the art center costs the towns $3.7 million. They also got a big grant from the state.
But The Communications Workers of America Local union put out a press release urging the towns to delay the merger, saying its workers are inadequately trained to handle this workload.
"What would the residents of Fairfield and Westport think, if they knew 911 telecommunicators were not properly cross-trained before merging," said Union President Kevin Sheil.
"I think this is because it's so new ... you've got to come into the 21st century," said Kupchick.
"I think that all those issues have been taken care of, and so I think from our standpoint and the standpoint of our fire chief and our police chief we are ready," said Tooker.
The towns say other communities are also showing interest in joining the Fairfield County Regional Dispatch Center.
This center has been a project that's been in the works since 2016.


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