For the last several months, administrative and public safety officials from Provo and Orem have been evaluating the feasibility of consolidating the Provo and Orem emergency dispatch centers. After looking at the pros and cons of such a project and exploring governance, financial and human resources issues, the working group has concluded that there is a high likelihood that such a project could be successful and beneficial for the residents of both cities.
A consolidated dispatch center has the potential to reduce overhead and costs while increasing service levels. With phase one showing promise, the study team is recommending phase two include broader participation to involve employees and elected officials at the local, regional and state levels.
Phase one suggested benefits outlined by the State legislature of reduced overhead and cost of service. The preliminary findings suggest that a consolidated Provo-Orem dispatch center would increase levels of service, enhance training and advancement opportunities for employees, reduce overhead and improve efficiency, reduce physical space needs for both cities, and create opportunities for even more cooperation and collaboration between the two cities. We are encouraged the consolidation would potentially make better use of state and local tax dollars.
While phase one of the study looked at improvements with function, efficiency and effectiveness, phase two, if approved by both councils, will dive deeper into the details with a goal of determining whether to move forward. If we continue to see significant advantages to both cities and to our residents, a proposed agreement will be presented to both cities.
Several key concepts and principles outlined by the working group include:
Starting with a short-term contract of service with a three-year goal of establishing an interlocal agreement.
Having Provo City assimilate Orem city dispatch employees with favorable benefit transfer, including compensation, benefits, seniority and employment conditions.
Increasing overall efficiencies.
Improving resident service levels.