PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – Effective Wednesday, July 16, the City of Pierre and State Department of Public Safety are consolidating emergency and law enforcement dispatch services in central South Dakota into a single operation run by the city.
The consolidation of two public-safety communications systems into one will increase efficiency and save money, said Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill.
“Government at all levels should always look for ways to be more efficient and to deliver services as effectively as possible,’’ Gill said. “Working with (DPS Secretary) Trevor Jones and his staff, we believe we have reached a consolidation that will benefit both state and local taxpayers and assure reliable emergency communications for the central South Dakota region.’’
A joint powers agreement authorizing the consolidation was signed between the City and DPS in July of 2013. The new center, Central South Dakota Communications (CSDC), is a 911 public safety answering point.
The consolidation moves the City’s dispatch services to the State Radio facilities located in the Mickelson Law Enforcement Center at the east edge of Pierre. State Radio, under the Department of Public Safety, had space and equipment available. The City will be responsible for personnel, and the City and DPS will share costs.
“This agreement uses available State Radio space more fully and offers the City some breathing room to use its existing facility for other necessary purposes,’’ Jones said.
In addition, he said the consolidated center will assure even more reliable law enforcement and emergency communications, because all personnel will be in the same room, side-by-side, rather than in two separate locations.
“Mayor Gill and her staff worked closely with us over a period of time to reach the best possible consolidation,’’ Jones said. “We consider this an example of the kind of partnerships those of us in state government should be actively pursuing.’’