Letter to Editor: MBTS Public Safety Dispatch: Questions That Matter


To the Editor: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

In last week's Cricket, curiously, Town Administrator Federspiel again promoted the move of our Police and Fire Dispatch Services to Middleton.  He painted a dire, one-sided, portrayal of the present system, such that one might wonder…how did it get so bad?  Taxpayers might want to pursue answers to the following questions with him or the Board of Selectmen:

1. When and why did our safety dispatch services become deficient?

2. Who is accountable for the “critical” deficiency or the negligence? 

3. Why did our quite wealthy community fall below the recommended safety standards?

4. Why hasn’t our dispatch software platform been updated regularly in keeping with taxpayers’ expectations for their safety? 

5. How do four Middletown dispatchers, spread across five towns and 1.8 million people, provide a better ratio of services than our two dispatchers for our 5,000 residents?

6. What and where is the financial comparison data available to taxpayers so we can make our own informed assessment of the move, and participate responsibly in a so called “Public Forum”?

I worry that Mr. Federspiel has continually advocated for this move to either mask the negligence, to champion the State’s regionalization goals, or to preserve a large reserve fund for expenditures he favors, in lieu of supporting the Police and Fire Safety standards we pay for and deserve.

I hope none of the above, but who dropped the ball on our safety?

In any case, in his next Cricket piece, perhaps Mr. Federspiel will cover the ways to rebuild high quality dispatch services, and the reasons for keeping them right where they belong … HERE!

Sheila P. Hill, Manchester