Trumbull 9-1-1 looking to expand - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Trumbull 9-1-1 looking to expand

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WARREN, Ohio - In the past three years, Trumbull 9-1-1 has added four more communities to it's dispatch coverage, the latest being Hubbard and Weathersfield.

The county now handles 36 police and fire departments and 9-1-1 Director Ernie Cook is asking for a $110,000 budget hike to add two more dispatch stations to handle to added work load.

"With supervisors and dispatchers we currently have 33 so we would go up to 35," Cook said.

As additional communities switch to the county, the dispatch center has increased it's revenue by $200,000, while saving money for the cities and townships who make the switch.

"So far, with the consolidations, we've saved taxpayers a million dollars a year," Cook said.

That cost savings could be attractive to the Warren Police Department, which has the highest volume of dispatch calls in the county.

"I mean, we pay anywhere from three quarters of a million to a million dollars for our dispatch center, and if they can take it over for a cheaper cost, we're certainly going to look at that," said Warren Police Chief Eric Merkel.

Cook says he is looking forward to discussions with Warren and possibly Niles as well, because he feels the dispatch center has the capacity and technology for future growth as a regional center even outside of Trumbull County.

"We're positioning ourselves for that with the investment in new technology," Cook said.

The director noted that 74 percent of the centers call volume is now from cell phones.

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