Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella (5th R) and Freeholder Vice Chairman Linda Carter (C) cut the ribbon officially opening the Union County Police Regional Dispatch Center in Westfield. They are joined by (from left) Freeholder Christopher Hudak, Union County Police Chief Daniel Vaniska, Dispatcher Carmine Malave, Freeholder Vernell Wright, Dispatcher Thomas Campisi, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Union County Manager Alfred Faella, Dispatch Coordinator Gareth Williams and Public Safety Director Andrew Moran. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)
Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the opening of the Union County Police Regional Dispatch Center, a new state-of-the-art emergency dispatch facility located in the County’s Ralph Froehlich Public Safety Building in Westfield.
“This new Dispatch Center marks a significant transformation of the emergency response infrastructure in Union County, bringing us up to date with the most advanced technologies to serve our first responders and the public,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
The new $1.2 million facility replaces and expands the previous operation located at the same site, which housed only two dispatch consoles. The new facility contains nine consoles.
“Union County is a dynamic, densely populated area where trends in emergency preparedness are constantly changing,” said Public Safety Director Andrew Moran. “This new facility will enable Union County, as well as the 21 municipalities, to continue operating at top levels of effectiveness.”
In addition to providing emergency dispatch services directly for the Union County Police and other countywide first responders, the new Regional Dispatch Center will also provide services for a growing number of local governments and other entities.
“The new Dispatch Center is an excellent example of a shared County-local service that enables local governments to manage their costs while gaining quality,” said Mirabella. “Our municipalities are getting access to a level of expertise and technology that would be extremely difficult to support on their own.”
The move toward shared communications services began in 2010, when the Borough of Fanwood entered into a shared services agreement to have its police, fire and emergency medical service (EMS) calls routed through the Dispatch Center.
Earlier this year, Roselle, Springfield, and Hillside began to have their fire and EMS calls routed to the Dispatch Center. The service to Springfield is also being expanded to have the Dispatch Center be the primary answering point for the township’s 9-1-1 calls
In addition, the Dispatch Center is now responsible for EMS dispatch for Scotch Plains and the Township South Orange, and for two paramedic units operated by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Rahway, along with Roselle Park’s Fire Department and EMS.
“The bottom line is that emergency responders throughout the region can now share a facility that enables them to manage their costs while providing a higher level of service, and that’s a win-win for everyone,” said Mirabella.
Contractors on the project included USA Architects, Birdsall Engineering, M&M Construction and Mission Critical Partners.