Daly City looks to move 911 dispatch system; jobs not guaranteed

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Daly City considers outsourcing the city's 911 dispatching system over to the county, but that could mean job losses. (KGO-TV)

Daly City is looking at moving its 911 dispatching system over to San Mateo County's central dispatching center. The city's police officers oppose that money-saving move saying it actually poses a public safety risk.

Daly City council members will meet at the end of this month to consider the proposal. Most of them are still waiting to decide. But members of the law enforcement community there are speaking out strongly against the move.

Police say Wednesday's officer-involved shooting of a domestic dispute suspect is a perfect example of why Daly City should keep its 911 dispatchers.

Daly City Police Officers Association President Officer Jason Moe said, "This domestic violence case was actually happening over a period of weeks. We actually have a long-term history with him, so they were able to get information out to officers in a much quicker way."

The City Council is considering outsourcing its police dispatch system to the county. However, there is no guarantee that the city's dispatchers would be hired on.

Daly City dispatcher Jessica Headman said, "We would have to reapply for our jobs. It's not a promise."

There are nine dispatchers, with a total of 120 years of experience, and Headman says they and the officers are a close family.

"We know the way that they talk. We know the codes and it saves us a lot of time if we can shorthand words on the radio as opposed to spending a lot of time and wasting the air traffic," Headman explained.

The proposal claims outsourcing would save the city some $750,000 a year. The dispatchers disagree, saying it's a public safety issue.

Rank and file officers have signed a petition against the move, saying the dispatchers do a lot of clerical and records work on the side for officers.

Moe told ABC7 News, "Those tasks that they do now, if not covered by the county, would have to be done by an officer, which means officers are going to be off the street."

Vice Mayor David Canepa thinks it is a troubling issue. He said, "I think public safety, our police officers have made it very, very clear that they do not want our dispatchers outsourced."

City council members will consider the bill in two weeks.
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