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Cuyahoga County Aims to Reduce 9-1-1 Call Centers

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Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has unveiled a plan to dramatically reduce the number of 9-1-1 call centers. ideastream's Nick Castele reports it's part of his long term effort to consolidate services among the 59 communities in the county.

Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Some Cuyahoga County suburbs share 9-1-1 call centers, but for the most part, each community has its own. If you call 9-1-1 in the county, there are 45 different centers that might answer.

County Executive Ed FitzGerald would like to whittle that number down to four over the next decade -- one for Cleveland, and three for the suburbs. He says that number is more in line with federal and state recommendations.

FITZGERALD: "We have too many people in too many places with too much outdated equipment dealing with all of these calls. And it just doesn't make any sense. It's not the best way to save lives, and it's also not the best way to save money."

FitzGerald wants to put $1.5 million in county money toward new offices and technology upgrades, with more money possibly to come later. FitzGerald says communities can opt-out if they'd like.

About 480 people currently work at dispatch centers throughout the county. The proposal next goes before the county council for approval.

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