The Gulfport City Council has to adopt a budget for fiscal 2011-12 before Sept. 30.
Outsourcing the Gulfport Police Department's Communications Center is among the issues up for discussion and debate as city leaders try to balance the budget.
If the city were to outsource the police dispatch to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to keep from dipping into the reserves, the city would save approximately:
- $147,677 in fiscal 2012
- $305,226 in fiscal 2013
The current proposal from the sheriff's office would cost $115,000 the first year and $85,000 the second year. The cost savings includes eliminating four dispatchers and one network administrator position, according to Administrative Services Director Dan Carpenter.
While city leaders, city employees and citizens continue to debate the issue, Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent shared concerns, questions and facts in his blog post today: More Perspective on Outsourcing Dispatch.
"This week, I visited the two largest law enforcement communications centers in Pinellas County with the goal of seeking a better understanding of how calls are processed."
Chief Vincent shared some of things he learned during the trips:
"Both Sheriff Coats and Chief Deputy Gualtieri have verbally agreed to offer employment to all four communications dispatchers who would lose their Gulfport jobs in the transition. Previously, this had only been a likely possibility. Should somebody other than Gualtieri be appointed to replace Coats when he retires, I will seek the same commitment from that individual."
Vincent also touched on the issue in a blog post May 19, Outsource Dispatch? Some Things to Consider.
Want to share your opinion?
The city manager's proposed fiscal 2011-12 budget is available on the city's website.
Public hearings are set for 7 p.m. Sept. 8 and 21 at Gulfport City Hall.