The city of Chicopee is moving forward with plans to create a regional dispatch center for communities in western Massachusetts.
Tuesday morning Mayor Richard Kos showed State Representative Joseph Wagner the Chicopee Public Safety Complex, which would house the regional dispatch.
Mayor Kos told 22News his vision for the regional disptach center would save the city time and money in the future.
“It’s an opportunity for cities and towns to locate and provide that type of service with civilians that would free up police and fire to do really what they were hired to do,” said Mayor Kos. “And be out there either on the streets or in the areas where they are needed.”
Currently, Chicopee police officers are working as dispatchers, but at civilian dispatchers would be brought in to the regional center in their place.
Right now, Chicopee and Longmeadow are part of this proposed partnership, but Mayor Kos said other communities have considered joining them.
But before that can happen, additional state funding is needed to create the dispatch center.
” He’s really committed to the idea and and it’s going to take a lot of money, more than the communities collectively could bring to the tables,” said State Rep. Joseph Wagner. ” The Mayor is looking to the state and were going to do as much as we can to be helpful.”
The city was previously given $1.3 million in funding and is now asking for an additional $2 million.