Valley to consolidate dispatch operations with Chambers Co.

VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - Valley City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday to consolidate the City's dispatch operations from the Valley Police Department to the Chambers County E-911 Center.

This move will save the city thousands of dollars each year.

"Mayor Riley raised the question to me when he was running for mayor to why we were having our own communications divisions and he asked me how much money we would save a year if we consolidated," explained Chief Tommy Weldon of the Valley Police Department. "We looked at that and realized we could save about $150,000 a year."

Now when residents of the county's cities and rural areas call 9-1-1, they will go to the same place, limiting confusion and emergency response.

Because of a mold issue in City Hall, workers relocated to the 911 Center and have been seamlessly working with county operators since February.

"We often get multiple calls from cell phones and when you have two separate dispatch centers we often duplicate our resources. Having all the communications under one roof will eliminate multiple agencies being sent to the same call," said Chief Weldon.

Weldon anticipates that the savings of the switch can be put toward capital investments within the Valley's Public Safety Department.

"So much of the funding that will come down from the state will go to the 911 district. It's going to be a very expensive endeavor, so we feel like it will benefit the City as well as all the citizens," Chief Weldon said.

When the countywide 911 system goes into effect July 1, 2013, it will be the first time Chambers County has a truly integrated emergency response system.

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