Manchester signs contract with North Shore Regional 911 Call Center

·2 min read

Aug. 5—MANCHESTER — The town has officially signed on to join North Shore Regional 911 Call Center in Middleton.

Selectmen signed the intermunicipal agreement with the call center last week. At their meeting Monday, selectmen voted 4-1 — with Brian Sollosy voting against as he had previously — to reaffirm their vote in June to join the call center. Following that, all selectmen voted in favor of ratifying the agreement.

The move will give the town access to more staff and the latest dispatch technology at no cost.

Manchester Police Department, meanwhile, will hire front desk personnel and be outfitted with a "safe lobby" with indoor locks and an intercom system that connects to a regional dispatcher 24/7.

Looking forward, the town and North Shore Regional 911 Call Center have months of work cut out for them. Town Administrator Greg Federspiel expects the transition will be completed within 9 to 12 months.

"We'll be going month by month with a checklist of things to do," he said.

Federspiel said the town is working to fulfill the call center's requests for town data and street maps. Meanwhile, the call center is also in the middle of procuring the dispatch equipment necessary for Manchester to move in.

Meanwhile, police Chief Todd Fitzgerald said the department is beginning to plan on how the lobby will be staffed once the in-house dispatch is gone.

"We've been told we're probably going to staff it 16 hours a day 7 days a week," he explained. "The midnight to 8 a.m. shift will be covered by the safe lobby. This is all preliminary though. It's what the discussion has been so far."

Fitzgerald previously advocated for the town to reinvest in its local dispatch operations instead of outsourcing.

"We will keep our services as people know it," he said. "It's unfortunate that we're going to lose that local person here, but sometimes change is hard. We'll see how it works out."

Selectmen previously stated in a public letter they will provide "opportunities for residents to become more familiar with North Shore Regional 911 operations and its staff," during the transition period. Nothing has been scheduled yet.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.