On October 25th, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) established the Broward County Consolidation Communications Committee for the purpose of developing a plan for cooperative consolidated dispatch for our County. This effort, sanctioned by the League of Cities, was led by Mayor Ryan of Sunrise and County Commissioner Lois Wexler and served as a follow-up to the initial work by the Broward City County Managers Association (BCCMA) on this subject. In addition to the two chairs, the committee included County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, Sheriff Lamberti, members of the League of Cities, Broward Fire Chiefs Association and Broward Police Chiefs Association and various city managers.
The Committee held a series of meetings and adopted their final report on March 7, 2012. In summary, the committee concluded the following:
- Consolidation of dispatch services is technically feasible, desirable and will improve public safety, particularly misdirected and transferred calls.
- A consolidated system should use three geographically separate PSAP locations.
- Performance metrics should be based on “best practices” and exceed national standards, if possible.
- The governing Board of a new system must include full representation of participating jurisdictions (one representative from each jurisdiction).
- For the immediate future, the County should maintain its current funding level in the new system (during the transition period of approximately three years).
- County’s funding in future years should be in the same proportion as its initial funding in the new system (disregarding transition costs).
- Gap in funding, after county funding and 911 fees, should be funded via a Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU).
- An Advisory Board should be created and funded to provide expert evaluation of potential sites for PSAPs, staffing and other budget resources, procedures and standards, and development of an Inter-local agreement (ILA).
- Cities joining the system (MSTU) would do so via an ILA.
On March 27th, the BCC received the Consolidation Communications Committee Report and its recommendations. While there was limited debate regarding some of the recommendations, the Board approved the recommendation to create a Broward County Consolidated Communication Implementation Advisory Board (I-Board), which will consist of city managers/administrators from each city, the Sheriff (or his designee), the County Administrator and a representative from both the Police Chiefs and Fire Chiefs Associations. In summary, the I-Board’s responsibilities will include:
Governance - assess and rank alternative governance structures; recommend a draft charter, operating bylaws, inter-local agreements for the County and participating municipalities and best practices to be utilized in the selected governance model.
Funding - determine potential budget impact on municipalities, Broward County and Sheriff and the tax burden on residents within Broward County; determine a timeline and required actions for implementation of a municipal service taxing unit ("MSTU"); anticipate initial financial needs to occur in fiscal year 2012/2013; and identify start-up/transition budgets.
Operations - determine the administrative and technical requirements for implementation of the recommended governance model; establish standards and metrics which achieve a high level of performance and service; evaluate and rank proposed E-911 center locations based on engineering and technical analysis of the buildings and infrastructure needs.
The first order of business will be to develop a funding request for the I-Board by May 1st for its activities, including professional services to evaluate potential consolidated PSAP sites based on criteria outlined in the report.
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