WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – In less than a week, the lights will go out in the basement radio room of the Warren Police Department. Starting next Wednesday at 9 a.m., 911 and even non-emergency police calls made from Warren will be taken at the county dispatch center in Howland Township.
Seven Warren dispatchers will be making the move to Howland. County 911 Chief Ernest Cook says the county and city dispatchers have been training together, so all callers get the benefit of their experience. “We’re going through the checklists,” says Cook. “We’re looking forward to this. They bring a lot of experience to the table and it’s going to give the team a lot of depth.”
The time was set so support staff from the phone companies and IT networks will be working just in case there’s a glitch. “We’re looking forward to a seamless transition,” says Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa. “No interruption of service and moving forward.”
Warren’s dispatchers will have two seats in the Howland center, one to take calls and the other to dispatch them. Their primary focus will be on the city, keeping the professional bond between the officers on the road, and the voice directing them. Cantalamessa says, “When a police officer is on the road and calls into a dispatch center and knows the voice on the other end that’s speaking and has a rapport with that dispatcher, it’s important.”
Cook says they are on track to make the switch, if not ahead of schedule.