CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Police and fire calls for Coconut Creek will soon be handled by Coral Springs as part of an agreement Coral Springs approved this week.
So what’s in it for Coral Springs residents?
Coral Springs officials said the shift is intended to make the dispatch system more efficient for more residents of northwest Broward County, allowing police officers, firefighters, and paramedics to potentially respond faster and be better equipped for emergencies in Coral Springs, Parkland and now Coconut Creek.
Part of the reason for the switch is also to prevent the kind of miscommunication that impacted the police and fire response during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy, officials said. During the incident, there was a case of at least one dispatcher who didn’t know where the school was, as dispatchers were providing information to first-responders as they were arriving at the school.
The Coral Springs City Commission voted 4-1 in support of the agreement, with Commissioner Larry Vignola voting against it out of concerns that the new dispatchers could make mistakes and cost lives.
The costs of hiring and training the new dispatchers, as well as buying new technology and other equipment, will be covered by Coconut Creek, Coral Springs City Manager Frank Babinec said.
There will be no expenses for Coral Springs residents.
According to the agreement, the immediate costs will be $1.4 million, and then $145,067 for Aug. 1- Sept. 30.
After that, the costs will be $870,406 from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2021 and then $2.1 million from Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 2022. And the costs go up from there through the end of 2030.
It will take up to two years for Coral Springs to take over the dispatch services for Coconut Creek, which are now operated by Broward Sheriff’s Office.
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