911 Dispatch Channel Consolidation for Mon Valley Police Departments Put on Hold

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A consolidation scheduled to take place today for eleven Mon Valley police departments, where they would share a 911 dispatch channel, has been delayed.

Allegheny County leaders told KDKA they intend to move forward with consolidation, but are delaying it at this time. They said that instead of departments coming to them to express their concerns, they went to the media.

They now plan to hold various meetings with the ministries in hopes of resolving the many issues.

An email was sent yesterday by Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services Chief Matt Brown to the eleven departments. You can read it in full below.

Chiefs:

Earlier in April, we met about the upcoming consolidation of the East PD channel and I followed that meeting with a note outlining those plans and making myself available to each of you to answer any questions or concerns. Although no one has contacted me directly, several of you have reached out to the media with concerns that were not voiced at ACES. Obviously, there is still a need for additional conversations. Based on this, I will delay consolidation for a short time to allow us to address concerns.

Channel consolidation will continue at a future date to be determined, but please note that we may also be required to consolidate channels, from time to time, depending on staff. As I am sure you all know, this is a practice that is already in place and does occur on occasion. Additionally, many departments in the Mon Valley appear to be facing similar staffing issues as emergency services have been notified of a number of coverage changes in recent weeks. As you carry out consolidations between municipal lines, these have an equally important impact on our operations.

I will be contacting you soon to schedule meetings for us and the heads of the relevant police departments in the East. We will be holding the meetings at our Moon facilities so that we can also discuss radio communications and provide information on our dispatch operations, as media interviews have highlighted that people are unaware of the process here. No need to reply to this email. I will contact each of you very soon to plan our first meeting.

Thank you for your collaboration.

Here are the eleven areas that would be impacted by the consolidation:

  • McKeesport
  • Versailles
  • white oak
  • Penn State Greater Allegheny
  • Clairton
  • Glassport
  • Harbor view
  • Freedom
  • Borough of Elizabeth
  • Elizabeth Township
  • lincoln

When announced, the decision angered many of the police departments involved. They believe that if this consolidation were to happen, it would become a security issue not only for their agents, but also for the community.

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