Consolidated dispatch center approved in WSP

On Nov. 1, the City of West St. Paul will be shifting its 911 dispatching responsibilities to the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office. This move comes two months earlier than the targeted switch date of Jan. 1, 2006. West St. Paul Police Chief Manila Shaver said the early move was necessary due to several current dispatchers leaving for other employment and the growing possibility of a serious staffing shortage. Preparations for this switch have gone well and citizens calling for non-emergency and emergency help will not notice any change. All current telephone numbers utilized for public safety assistance will remain the same.

The West St. Paul 911 Dispatch Center has operated for 30 years serving the communities of Mendota Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Sunfish Lake, South St. Paul and, of course, West St. Paul. Public Safety officials from the aforementioned cities consider the move to the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center a positive step toward the initiative of a single consolidated 911 Dispatching Center a positive step toward the initiative of a single consolidated 911 dispatching Center within Dakota County, currently being planned for 2007. In addition, the move to the Dakota County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center will allow fire and police personnel to communicate on dedicated readio channels, thereby not interfering with each other’s radio communications. It was also noted that having common radio channels between public safety agencies will help foster better partnerships and collaborative efforts. For larger or multi-agency incidents, police and fire radios have been programmed with common radio channels in order to have coordinated communications during these incidents of mutual response. Police agencies being dispatched by the County will be receiving radio calls via an electronic CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system. This system is a much more efficient method of communication and can assist a dispatcher in determining the closest or most appropriate unit to send and how many units may be necessary.

As a reference, listed below are public safety telephone numbers by community.

Mendota Heights, Lilydale, Mendota and Sunfish Lake (Fire):

• Police Administration: 452-1366

• Fire Administration: 452-1850

• After hours non-emergency: 452-1366

West St. Paul and Sunfish Lake (Police):

• Police Administration: 554-3300

• Fire Administration: 552-4176

• After-hours non-emergency: 450-1111

South St. Paul:

• Police Administration: 554-3300

• Fire Administration: 554-3250

• After-hours non-emergency: 554-3300

For any emergency calls, dial 9-1-1

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