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Columbia City's new 911 dispatch center improves safety for dispatchers, community

Columbia City just spent $1.6 million upgrading space in the city hall for a new dispatch center.

Posted: Aug 6, 2019 9:33 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2019 10:32 PM

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WFFT) - Columbia City 911 dispatchers will be taking calls in a new way starting Wednesday.

Columbia City just spent $1.6 million upgrading space in the city hall for a new dispatch center.

The goal is to improve safety for everyone in town.

"As the community grows, we don't have enough space and we don't have enough functionality," said Columbia City police chief Scott Leatherman.

Leatherman said the biggest change, besides more space, is the technology dispatchers will be using.

"Now we are connected to the state core which gives our radio system priority," he said.

And soon, Columbia City will be a test for new technology, allowing dispatchers to know exactly where cell phones are calling from instead of just the tower.

"As a caller, you might not know exactly where you are and the dispatcher has to talk to you and maybe you don't know if you are going north or south," said Leatherman.

The new center will also help keep the dispatchers safe with bullet resistant glass and walls surrounding them at all times.

"Our dispatchers are talking to people, some are angry, you just don't know anymore," Leatherman said.

Part of the safety includes an electric glass so people can't see into the dispatch center and storm shields over the windows.

"If the dispatchers are compromised, the can't dispatch the public safety to do anything," said Leatherman.

Dispatchers will begin taking calls out of this center Wednesday morning.

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