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Five Cities region could centralize emergency response

Pismo Beach Police Department
Posted at 11:31 PM, Mar 25, 2021

Pismo Beach and Grover Beach are in the final stages of merging their 911 Emergency Response Centers.

Both towns approved the framework, but Grover Beach will formally agree to the plan at a city council meeting in April.

In the plan, the Response Center would have nine dispatchers — four paid for by Grover Beach and five by Pismo Beach.

The center will be operated by the city of Pismo Beach at the 1000 Bello Street location.

When a resident of Grover Beach calls for help, their call will be received by a dispatcher in Pismo Beach and transmitted to the correct agency in Grover Beach.

“If we have an incident going down often it may involve more than one city and this way because we are consolidated, it’ll be a lot easier to get our information back and forth between the two police departments,” Pismo Beach Mayor Ed Waage said.

Management Services Director Jorge Garcia discussed how crime doesn’t stop at town boundaries.

“It really is a way for us to share information and provide better safety to the public,” he said.

The Grover and Pismo agencies would share technology, information and a central location from where the calls would summon.

Matthew Bronson, city manager for Grover Beach, detailed how beneficial the relationship is.

“Their dispatchers would dispatch our calls for our community, and we would use our facilities as a briefing room and back up emergency operation center for our city,” he said.

Grover Beach would use their previous facilities for a seven day a week.

Although the record department staff would cost the city about $50 thousand dollars, Bronson said Grover Beach was in fact saving money and resources. They would be able to allocate these resources differently.

Garcia said that originally, Grover Beach approached Pismo Beach because of a shortage in dispatchers.

“So for the last about eight months we’ve been offering part time dispatching services at night for Grover Beach so we’re already ready to go,” Garcia said.

The arrangement has been going so well, according to representatives from both cities, that they are moving to make the plan permanent.

The city of Arroyo Grande also has the option to join this plan in the future, which would make it a centralized emergency center for the Five Cities region.