03 Sep County proposes moving 911, dispatch services to EOC
By Nick Blank
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – County officials released a proposal for consolidating the county’s law enforcement and fire rescue 911 and dispatch services under the same roof.
CCSO and Clay County Fire Rescue would first operate call centers together at the CCSO building. Then the county would add a second floor to its Emergency Operations Center near the Clay County Fairgrounds and move its 911 and dispatch operations there.
County 911 Coordinator Troy Nagle said the next year involved reviewing policies, acquiring certifications, moving operations to CCSO and hiring a consultant.
The plan calls for the county to submit plans for state approval later this month. Nagle’s timeline had the co-located facility between CCSO and CCFR running in February.
“In March, we’ll look at evaluating policies before consolidating at the EOC,” Nagle said.
CCFR Deputy Chief David Motes said renovating the EOC and merging call capabilities wouldn’t lead to a reduction of jobs.
“We will have a more efficient, effective, robust system,” Motes said.
The Sheriff’s Office would serve as a backup center once the EOC renovation is finished.
“You haven’t wasted any money by making that work over (at CCSO’s facility),” Motes said.
Nagle said he expected a six-month process for a consolidation study. The cost to answer calls out of CCSO’s building was about $10,000 to facilitate the network and $25,000 for vendors to refigure and relocate equipment. An increase in the network’s capabilities would cost $400 a month.
Nagle said a consultant would cost $75,000-$100,000, though the county’s 911 funds would account for half. Full modifications to the EOC ranged from $5 million-$7 million.
The county could earn potential revenue from the plan, Nagle said, from FEMA reimbursement, grants and an increase to the 911 fee in the Florida Legislature.
“If that (fee) does get adopted this year it could generate another million dollars, but we have to see what the statute does to what the fees are allowed for, because that fee is currently restricted to what it can be used for,” Nagle said.