The conversation got a little tense at last week’s Hennessey Trustee meeting as they started discussing moving the Police dispatch to the 911 center in Kingfisher.
Hennessey resident Barb Walter started with, “As you know at the last meeting I was not excited about you all making the change. And since then several people have come forward and said that they weren’t. I worry about the safety of our police officers and of our town.”
Currently, all 911 calls go to the 911 Kingfisher dispatch, then they are transferred to Hennessey dispatch, then an officer is dispatched. The new plan will connect the 911 dispatcher with the police or fire directly.
Police officer Matt Briner said, “The problem here is, and I think what the misunderstanding is it’s not the dispatcher at the police department that’s the problem. What we need is another office on duty to make us safe.” Bruner explained if he needs help at 2 am all his backups live in Kingfisher or Ames.
Currently, the Hennessey Police cannot talk directly to the Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Department because their radio systems are not compatible. The contract will reprogram the Hennessey radio system to be compatible with Kingfisher.
At last month’s meeting, Ryan Deatherage, the 911 Direction told the board about a lot of technology they have available such as tracking, caller location, and language translation.
The new 911 contract will cost $41,000. Dispatch is currently costing Hennessey $140,000
All calls to the police phone number 853-4444 will be forwarded to the 911 center. There will be someone in the police department during business hours doing administrative work but will not answer the calls or dispatch.
Hennessey residents will still be able to call the 853-4444 number which after hours will route to 911 in Kingfisher.