July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

City, county looking into merging police dispatch centers

MEDINA — Medina city Police and the Medina County Sheriff’s Office may combine their two radio dispatch centers.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell gave a presentation on the idea at a meeting Wednesday to representatives from City Council, Montville and Medina townships, the Medina Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and the Life Support Team.

The details of a potential agreement have not been worked out, but Hanwell said it could save on infrastructure costs and software costs.

As an example, an agreement would allow the Sheriff’s Office to use the same crime mapping system that Medina has implemented, the mayor said.

Hanwell said each agency would keep their own employees, but they would be in the same room so they could help each other if one department was having a lower volume of calls.

Sheriff Tom Miller said neither agency planned on reducing their workforce if the plan goes forward.

The nine Medina City dispatchers and the 14 Medina County Sheriff’s dispatchers have been trained to better handle medical calls and to help the person on the other end of the line give immediate medical care if needed.

“There’s a structured script that you go through,” said Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci. “Everything we do is with the approval of a doctor.”

The Medina Police dispatch center is in the process of upgrading ProQA, software designed to standardize the way dispatchers handle medical calls. Medina Police also dispatches for Montville and Medina townships.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.