Bangor City Councilors Tour Penobscot Dispatch 

Bangor city councilors voted last month to start the process of combining their emergency dispatch services with Penobscot County regional dispatch.Thursday, councilors took a tour of the Penobscot Regional Communications Center. Before making a final decision on whether to move the city’s dispatch center here, there are still some questions. The biggest one concerns cost. “What are we spending now? What are we going to be spending? What is the taxpayer looking at? A lot of information that we don’t have in our hands,” said councilor Cary Weston. “Today’s tour, overview of the system, very impressive. I enjoyed learning it because I wanted to get a full picture.”Some folks at the Bangor Police Department are a little uneasy about consolidation. Executive Director of the county dispatch center, Jim Ryan, fielded a number of questions from councilors addressing those concerns. “Still, if a large enough incident happened in Bangor, Maine and the shift commander of the PD presumed that the best place for them was standing beside the dispatcher, can they do that here?” asked councilor Rick Bronson.”They can’t be in charge of my room,” answered Ryan. “My room has to be supervised by my supervisor. Critical incident decisions, it would be no different if they called us on the radio or called us on the phone and said have this unit go there, there, and there. If they want to stand in that room and say have this unit go there, there, and there I have no issue with that.”Another concern is jobs. What happens to the current Bangor dispatchers?Ryan says if Bangor dispatch moves, their call volume could increase by as much as 40-percent. He says any bangor dispatchers that want to work here are welcome.For now, Bangor city staff plans to meet with county officials and begin crunching numbers. The city council hopes to have those figures by next month.