“It’s a great example of the ultimate shared service,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno, of the move Freehold Township made to Monmouth County’s 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatch Center. The plan for Monmouth County to take over all 9-1-1 services for Freehold has been in the works for several months, and on September 1, it became a reality. The shared service is a cost savings measure for Freehold Township, and saves taxpayers money by providing Monmouth County with $289,000 annually.
Monmouth County now answers all of Freehold’s 9-1-1 calls and handles police dispatch. “For years, the County has handled the township’s fire and first aid calls. We are now pleased to be working jointly with the Sheriff’s Office for our 9-1-1 call center and police dispatch,” said Freehold Township Mayor Anthony Ammiano. “We believe that the County’s model for the call center and the Freeholders’ commitment to the new facility, together with the cooperation of Freehold Township as their largest participant, results in the best and most efficient solution for the taxpayers of the Township of Freehold.”
The change will provide the same or higher level of 9-1-1 services through the trained, dedicated team of public safety telecommunicators. “They serve the County 24 hours, seven days a week, and are emergency medical dispatchers, emergency communication officers and National Crime Information Computer (NCIC) terminal operators,” said Undersheriff Shaun Golden, who runs the 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatch Center.
Seven township dispatchers, who were going to lose their jobs, were hired by the County to fill the additional posts the 9-1-1 center needed for Freehold to come on board. The dispatchers are already trained; therefore money will not be spent on the 9-1-1 training program. New equipment does not need to be purchased, since Freehold’s system is compatible and has been moved to the county facility.
“Shared services and consolidation is the future, not just here in Monmouth County and the state of New Jersey, but throughout the country,” said Sheriff Guadagno. “It’s a bi-partisan issue that makes sense and benefits the taxpayers.”
The 9-1-1 Emergency Call Center answers 9-1-1 calls for 44 towns, dispatches for 8 police departments and 32 fire and EMS crews.