KITTERY, Maine — Voters’ decision earlier this month to fund a $900,000 municipal infrastructure bond moved the town in the direction of potentially hosting a regional dispatch center for southern York County.
The Kittery and Eliot police dispatch center, housed as part of the police station at Kittery Town Hall, is due for a much-needed upgrade, according to town officials, regardless of whether the town houses a regional dispatch center. But with the space available and roughly $300,000 of new equipment expected to be installed in the fall, Kittery and Eliot Police Chief Theodor Short believes it makes sense from public safety and fiscal standpoints to move to a regional dispatch center.
“Based on the space we have and on conversations that have been going on for 11 years since I started in Eliot, we should create a southern Maine consolidated dispatch center,” Short said.
Most towns in southern Maine currently have some form of regionalized dispatch – Kittery and Eliot dispatch together, as does South Berwick and Berwick and Wells and Ogunquit. In addition, all area 911 calls are filtered through a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which is based in York.
Plans to regionalize dispatch and 911 calls to one center in southern Maine – and in a grander scheme, all of York County – dates back nearly 20 years, according to South Berwick Police Chief Dana Lajoie.