More trouble may be underfoot for dispatchers

LISBON – The decision to purchase a new radio dispatch console for the police department exposed a potentially more expensive problem with the flooring in the dispatcher’s room.

Police Chief Mike Abraham approached Village Council at its Nov. 19 meeting to request their permission to purchase a new console, which he said will combine operations, resulting in greater efficiency.

Lisbon dispatches for not only the local police and fire departments, but the Salineville Police Department and Franklin Township Fire Department. The system now consists of two computer terminals – one to run criminal and vehicle checks through the LEADS system and the other to maintain the dispatch log -and separate microphones to communicate with each police and fire department.

Abraham said the new console will allow dispatchers to do everything from a single work station instead of moving from each computer screen, as well as back and forth between the communication microphones.

“They can do everything they need to do from one console,” he said.

Council approved purchasing the new console, which will cost $17,748. Each of the four entities that rely on the dispatching service will split the cost, reducing the village’s share to $4,437.

Abraham said the new console will also reduce wear-and-tear created by dispatchers rolling between computer terminals and communication microphones on the specialized rubber floor. He said the seven-year-old flooring is coming apart at the seams, and the installer and manufacturer blame the other.

“I don’t know what it would cost but I know it cost a pretty penny when they installed it,” he said.

Village Solicitor Virginia Barborak indicated she would contact the manufacturer, installer and architect to see what can be done.

Meanwhile, Councilman Steve Defilippo wondered if it would be cheaper to contract with the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office for dispatching services.

“I don’t think it would be beneficial for us. I’ve looked into it,” Abraham said, adding his dispatchers also dispatch for the street, water and sewer departments, and doubts the sheriff’s office would do the same.

Finally, council agreed to provide up to $3,890 as a match so the police department can receive a federal grant in the same amount to purchase new bulletproof vests for each of the 14 full- and part-time officers.

Abraham noted the Lisbon Lions Club donated $1,000 and the Lisbon Eagles contributed $5,000, bringing the total available to $13,781. The vests cost $10,640, and the service clubs agreed to let the village keep the money anyway, which will reduce the village’s out-of-pocket contribution to less than $800.

“I’d like to publicly thank the Lions and Eagles,” said council President Roger Gallo.

Abraham said they have done so already, in writing and in person.