Milwaukee Common Council
Press Release

Council members applaud 911 cell phone shift vote by County Board

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors today approved a compromise plan that will allow Milwaukee Police Department dispatchers to begin handling all 911 cell phone calls that originate in the city – a cooperative move that will save taxpayer dollars.

By - Dec 20th, 2012 09:58 pm

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors today approved a compromise plan that will allow Milwaukee Police Department dispatchers to begin handling all 911 cell phone calls that originate in the city – a cooperative move that will save taxpayer dollars.

The proposal, announced earlier this fall by Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, shifts the city 911 cell phone calls to MPD dispatchers effective January 1, 2013. In the past, the MPD dispatchers had handled emergency calls from landlines, while Milwaukee County dispatchers handled 911 calls from cell phones.

Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr. applauded the County Board’s action and the leadership of County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, and credited Mayor Barrett and County Executive Abele for working cooperatively for the benefit of the public. “This move is good for city taxpayers, who will benefit from the city savings as well as savings on the county portion of their property taxes,” President Hines said.

Alderman Michael J. Murphy, chair of the Common Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee, echoed the sentiments of his colleague. “This is the season of giving, and with the County Board’s action today, the taxpayers are on the receiving end of tax savings and greater efficiency in their government,” Alderman Murphy said.

“Taxpayers in the City of Milwaukee are also county taxpayers. This is a way to share resources and save money that makes economic sense and public service sense,” he said.

Alderman Nik Kovac, vice chair of the Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee, said he believes the cooperative approach that brought the 911 cell phone call switch is something that’s worth repeating. “The cooperation between the city and the county is extremely positive, and I think it paves the way for future areas of mutual cooperation that can create further efficiencies and save additional taxpayer dollars,” Alderman Kovac said. “All city and county taxpayers should keep in mind that this was only one part of a larger intergovernmental cooperation agreement that could have further improved services and lowered taxes. Hopefully all of these good ideas will soon be implemented.”

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