Public Safety Items on City Council Agenda 

Two public safety issues were on the agenda at the Bangor City Council meeting Monday night.Meghan Hayward was there.Councilors voted on moving forward with negotiations of the possibility of consolidating Bangor Emergency Dispatch with Penobscot County Dispatch.The order passed six to one.” In the long run it could prove to save money. We have no assurance that by maintaining the local Peace App that there will be any state funding. As I pointed out this is not the final decision, this is the first step toward a possible final decision.”Councilor Hal Wheeler says Bangor is currently the only community in Penobscot County that has their own dispatch.” Councilors in the past have been very reluctant, understandably, to do anything that would appear to diminish the effectiveness and efficiency of our police department.”Wheeler says he doesn’t believe the action taken at the meeting will have any impact on the department’s efficiency.” In fact it may indicate when we complete the study of both the police and fire that we need to give them more personnel to work with.”” The letter that I read earlier indicated they were willing to hire the individuals that are doing dispatch in Bangor. I suspect that they will keep them doing the dispatch for the city of Bangor. The building they do dispatch in is in the city of Bangor. I don’t see it as an issue. If I did I wouldn’t have supported it.”Another related item on the agenda, bringing in an outside consultant to look for additional savings in the Bangor Police and Fire Department’s budgets.” The cost of the consultants, which will be about $70,00 will come from what is known as the undesignated reserve. That’s about 8.7 million dollars that the city of Bangor has that is not designated, reserved or allocated for anything else. We use that for special purposes.”Both orders were passed.Some folks raised concerns that bringing in an outside consultant was an insult to the police and fire chief.Council Chair, Richard Stone doesn’t agree.” If you spend 250 million dollars over ten years for the two departments combined and to spend $70,000 to find out better ways to do things or to verify that what you’re doing is correct. There is always room for improvement.”