Some state lawmakers are worried a plan to save money is putting residents at risk. For the past year, state police have been consolidating dispatch services. Instead of assigning a trooper at each barrack to handle calls, they’ve been creating regional communication centers staffed by multiple civilian dispatchers.
State police officials say the system gets more troopers on the road and saves money because civilians answer the calls, not state police officers.
But lawmakers from northeast Connecticut say they’ve heard of a resident recently going to Troop D in Danielson and having to wait 20 minutes for a trooper to respond.
Rep. Mae Flexer, D-44, says that worries her.
“In northeast Connecticut, we don’t have a lot of local police departments,” she said. “Troop D is our police department. It’s our safe haven. They now have to push a blue button to get trooper assistance at the dispatch center instead of the help they used to get right here inside the troop.”
She and Rep. Linda Orange, D -48, have raised their safety concerns with state police leadership and are also questioning whether the consolidation has saved any money.