Ferris dispatches for Palmer police
By 10/19/2006 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
PALMER - The cities of Palmer and Ferris signed a two-year agreement for the Ferris Police Department to provide dispatching services for the Palmer police department.
On Oct. 1, Ferris dispatchers began fielding extra calls as the Palmer police department was added to their dispatching duties.
It seemed to work as a win-win for both cities because Ferris receives $30,000 a year from the contract and Palmer was able to ease the county's dispatching load slightly.
Palmer Mayor Don Huskins said they would like to dispatch for their own police and volunteer fire department, but the city could not afford the equipment or personnel at this time.
'We could not get a hold of a 911 system to do (it),' Huskins said.
'It was really expensive.'
He estimated the system would cost $70,000, then the city would have to pay $100,000 in staff salaries for four full-time trained dispatchers.
Previously Palmer had been dispatched through the Ellis County Sheriff's Department.
'It's not that we weren't happy,' Palmer Police Chief Scott Lynch said.
'It's a thing of them being overloaded.'
The county dispatches for several small police and fire departments throughout the county, not counting their own sheriff's deputies.
Ferris Police Chief R. C. Nettles said he did not think the department's dispatchers would have any trouble handling the extra call volume.
Earlier this summer the cities ran a two-week trial experimental run, which according to Lynch and Nettles worked out smoothly.
Neither city would have to purchase any additional equipment for the dispatching services to work properly.