North Olmsted, Lakewood consider centralized dispatch centers

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 8:54 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - North Olmsted and Lakewood are currently working on finding a police and fire dispatch operation option that would focus on safety while being the best financial fit for their respective community and council members in both communities are involved in ongoing discussions.

In North Olmsted, the mayor, the police and fire chief along with the safety director worked to bring together multiple communities under one umbrella to form a centralized dispatch center to meet state demands, due to county funding, to regionalize services.

When regional response to their offer was not reciprocated, city leadership in North Olmsted presented a plan to the council that would send dispatch operations to Chagrin Valley Dispatch.

That legislation is currently being debated by the public safety committee in North Olmsted, according to council president Lou Brossard.

“I still think there are some members of council who have some concerns about leaving a long-standing process of dispatching under your own roof and going to a central dispatch mentality,” Brossard said.

Brossard however, said he recently took a tour of the Chagrin Valley Dispatch headquarters and came away impressed and also makes it clear that current dispatchers in North Olmsted would be offered jobs with Chagrin Valley Dispatch.

In Lakewood, the Safety Committee is considering 3 options including leaving dispatch operations as they are, building a centralized dispatch operation unit that Lakewood would lead or join Chagrin Valley Dispatch.

John Litten is the City Council president and said they are only in the initial stages of discussion and like in North Olmsted, Lakewood is feeling the heat from the state to centralize as much as possible, dispatch operations.

“A city always has to consider cost but we really need to look at the quality of service as well as a cost-benefit analysis to make sure that we’re still getting the service we’re accustomed to getting in Lakewood,” Litten said.

Ideally Litten said dispatch would remain in Lakewood although he acknowledged that the operation needs enhancements from a technology standpoint.

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