Letter To The Editor: Dispatchers: Vote “No” On Question 1


To the Editor,

Your public safety dispatchers are asking for your support on Town Election Day this coming Tuesday, May 17.  We respectfully urge you to vote “No” on Question 1 and to keep Manchester-by-the-Sea’s Public Safety Dispatch services in Manchester. 

We have been here 24/7/365 with answers or solutions to all your calls and concerns that come through our local dispatch center over the years.  We pride ourselves on the exceptional services we provide, the in-depth knowledge of the town that we possess, and our unwavering dedication to public service for the residents, businesses, and visitors to our community. 

The decision to outsource a vital, local public safety service is not one that should be taken lightly.  The allure of free for now is not worth the unknown cost come 2029 or beyond.  The loss of local control is not worth the alleged savings and is not something that should be lost so we can conform to practices, protocols, and procedures that may work for communities that are double or even triple our population.  Our current ratio of residents to dispatchers is approximately 5,500 to 1.  At Regional, it would double to approximately 10,405 to 1, and if the other two communities that expressed interest in joining it then becomes nearly 17,600 to 1.  Some of the information given in the dispatch forums has not been answered correctly or at all.  The Town recently went through a complete replacement of our radio system infrastructure to the cost of approximately $240,000.  Our radios now cover a 20-mile radius encompassing the entire town.  The dispatch consoles at the police and fire stations were upgraded in 2021 for a total cost for the three consoles of approximately $46,000.  The cost estimates given by the town prove to be inaccurate. The GPS software and “the latest in 911 equipment” (phones, software, monitors, computers, etc.)  is the same for every dispatch center regardless of where it is located.  By joining the Regional center and giving up our PSAP, it means dispatch can NEVER come back to Manchester again.  We would have to join forces with another community and the cost of that is unknown.

It is time to do what is best for the town and public safety as a whole and invest in our local services. 

As always, we are available to answer any questions you may have.  Our Community Open House at the police station from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 14 is a good opportunity to do so. 

Please get out and vote No on Question 1 on May 17.

Thank you,

Your Public Safety Dispatchers,

Katie Elwell, Chelsie Reilly and Sean Mullins


dispatcher, human activities, flight dispatcher, chelsie reilly, sean mullins, katie elwell