Police • Rising cost of valley service, chance to go digital cited.
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Sandy • The city is abandoning the valleywide police dispatch service for a less expensive one.
With rising costs associated with the dispatch service, Sandy City police gave the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) notice it plans to end service at the end of June.
The city plans on joining the Salt Lake City police dispatch system, and it will be ready to go live July 1.
Mayor Tom Dolan said the VECC costs have risen 32 percent since 2006, so the city began looking for a lower-cost solution.
"Fortunately, we find it is going to be saving us money and it is going to be state of the art," Dolan said in a City Council meeting last month.
"It has been a struggle," said Police Chief Stephen Chapman of trying to keep up with the cost of the dispatch service.
The Sandy Police Department has more than 110 sworn officers and serves a community of about 90,000 people. The Salt Lake City police's digital dispatch service will operate out of its sleek new public safety building.
"Technologically, it is going to be unbelievable," Chapman said. "Going forward, some of [Salt Lake City's] technology will be far beyond that currently of VECC."
By partnering with Salt Lake City, Sandy will be able to transfer to digital radio service. The Utah Communications Area Network provides a majority of scanner radio service to counties statewide but is still transitioning from analog.
Sandy will have some initial infrastructure costs by paying about $200,000 for digital-capable scanner radios. It plans to share digitized scanner services with Salt Lake City to save money.
By switching dispatchers, Sandy estimates it will save at least $200,000 a year.