A Key Element - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1779827

A Key Element

In the recent special meeting held by the Southampton Village Board, many topics regarding the operations of the Southampton Village Police Department were discussed by a task force put together by the mayor. This presentation referenced the findings of a special report that was compiled by an outside organization.

One of the issues mentioned was the idea of disbanding the Southampton Village Police Department’s communications division altogether. It was stated that this could represent a potential $1.9 million savings in annual budget costs.

This blanket statement and the citation of the average 1.5 calls per hour coming into the department downplays the benefits this group provides to the residents and visitors of Southampton Village, the organizations they dispatch and the surrounding agencies that rely on them.

Southampton Village’s dispatchers do more than simply answer phones. When it comes to emergency situations, competent and knowledgeable dispatchers are a key element to lives and property being protected and saved, as well as being able to ensure all responding units are safe and make it home to their families.

Having dispatchers located in Southampton Village that have direct lines of communication with local agencies assures that responders not only have the benefit of those dispatchers being familiar with response areas, local policy and procedures, but also keeps the communications loop small, preventing information loss during critical incidents.

Southampton Village’s dispatchers also provide dispatching services to neighboring agencies, such as the North Sea Fire Department and Bridgehampton Fire Department, which brings money into Southampton Village through contracted services. Southampton Volunteer Ambulance also has investigated moving our communications to Southampton Village in the past but unfortunately were unable to, due to budget constraints. If it wasn’t for the superior service, training and knowledge of Southampton Villages dispatchers, this would not have been a consideration.

I strongly feel any consideration of disbanding the communications division would not have the best interests or safety of Southampton Village’s residents, visitors and emergency services agencies in mind and would significantly impact and potentially delay any response to an emergency.

Ian King

District EMS Supervisor

Southampton Volunteer Ambulance

Former Chief

Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance