South Shore: 8 towns weigh options about possibly regionalizing to form dispatch center

Grant money was used to produce a feasibility study that investigated regionalizing services. Several towns signed on to be part of the study and town leaders recently sat down to discuss a preliminary report that recommended two options.

“The main focus was originally for the towns of East Bridgewater, Bridgewater, and Whitman to look at possibly regionalization and then…the towns of Plymouth, Plympton, Halifax, Kingston, and Duxbury to look at possibly regionalization,” said Eric Arbeene, Community Planner for the Old Colony Planning Council

Arbeene has been working with the town leaders and said towns are now digesting the report to see if forming a regional dispatch center is possible for their community, “Some of the towns at first were gung ho, now not so much.”

Halifax Town Administrator Charlie Seelig says that Halifax hasn’t said yes, but they certainly haven’t said no, “If we went into a regional dispatch we’d be able to save some money though there are other issues that would cost us money things like if we didn’t have the dispatch center in Halifax then we’d still have to answer the question, how are we going to run operations at the police department if we don’t have any uniform officers or anybody else in the building at the time if someone comes in?”

Seelig explains that the report gives expert information about costs, staffing, technology and it answers many more questions but now it’s up to the individual towns to reach out to each other, “I think there’s going to be a lot of phone calling between members of the boards of selectmen, police chiefs, fire chiefs, and such to see who’s in, who’s out, who’s willing to work with each other, and see if we can come up with a workable configuration.”

The Old Colony Planning Council will be submitting a final report to all eight towns this week before moving forward with execution of any scenario.

Town officials from the other seven towns did not return phone calls Friday afternoon.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.