21 Aug 2014
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Police Chief Says Joint Dispatch Plan a Bad Idea for Waukesha

Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack highlights areas of concerns about the city joining the Waukesha County Communications Center, saying he can't recommend a merger "in good conscience."

Police Chief Says Joint Dispatch Plan a Bad Idea for Waukesha

Police Chief Russell Jack is recommending against the city joining the county’s dispatch center after his department completed a long-awaited report about the feasibility of joining Waukesha County Communications Center.

“I cannot in good conscience, recommend consolidating with WCC,” Jack said in a memo released Monday. “This decision would violate the City of Waukesha mission statement, which states, ‘We are dedicated to enhancing the community's quality of life through efficient, effective and responsive government.’ Consolidation would make our department less efficient, less effective and would not enhance the quality of life in the City of Waukesha.”

  • The memo from Jack and a feasibility study conducted by the police department is attached to this article.

The Waukesha Common Council is as it looks for ways to trim money out of its tight budgets. The 2012 budget has reduced officer and firefighter positions, and deferred some major leadership positions in attempt to cut costs.

Waukesha County Communications Center dispatches for more than two dozen agencies in the area. The analysis done by the police department reviewed calls at some of those agencies, with the Brookfield Police Department saying it had the most problems with county dispatch.

“After reviewing the cost analysis, the savings are clearly not what some have purported,” Jack said in a memo about the analysis. “The figures indicate the city would lose money the first three years and ‘break even’ in the fourth year.

"In consolidating with WCC, the (property tax rate) savings over a 10-year period would average $0.07 per $1,000 of assessed value or an average of $14 per year per average household. This does not take into account the tens of thousands of work hours necessary to complete the consolidation process with WCC,"he added.

A discussion about the city potentially joining the Waukesha County Communications is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 17 at , 201 Delafield St.

Jack questioned the county’s dispatch center in the memo for “numerous documented incidents of problems,” including:

  • Communication problems
  • High turnover rate
  • Poor leadership

Additional, Jack said in the memo, that there is no guarantee that annual maintenance fees the county would charge would remain the same.

“If the City of Waukesha relinquishes control of our dispatching services and joins WCC, regardless of the costs or level of service, we will never be able to open our Communication Center unless Waukesha County gives us permission,” Jack said. “Based on its ever-increasing pressure to have all communities join WCC, for all practical purposes, there is no chance of the City of Waukesha reopening our Communication Center.”

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