Effective October 25, 2021, City of Sylvania Police dispatching will no longer be handled by our own Sylvania dispatchers. Instead, the dispatching of police officers throughout all of Lucas County will be handled centrally by Lucas County out of their dispatch center on Monroe Street near downtown Toledo.
Planning for this centralized Lucas County dispatching has been underway for several years. The State of Ohio determined centralized dispatching will be more efficient, more professional and more economical than community by community dispatching.
To accomplish that goal, the State of Ohio established a timeline to reduce the number of dispatching centers or P.S.A.P.'s (Public Safety Answering Points). The City of Sylvania was scheduled to lose our P.S.A.P. funding within a few years. But before that happened, all Lucas County P.S.A.P.'s – Lucas County, Toledo, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Oregon and Maumee have now been combined into the one Lucas County dispatching center.
The City of Sylvania questioned the changes and negotiated this State of Ohio mandated change with the following concerns:
- Will the dispatching be as personalized and knowledgeable of Sylvania as our own dispatch center? The answer was that, over time, the central dispatchers will learn more about our community and our needs. Further, Lucas County emphasized that centralized dispatching offers communities higher call capacity and communication during local emergencies.
- Will the cost of the dispatching service be lower as promoted by the State of Ohio? The answer is no, not initially, but perhaps in future years. The City of Sylvania has retained three of its former dispatchers as Records Clerks to replace the work previously done by our dispatchers. The cost of the centralized Lucas County dispatch center will be billed to the local communities based on their number of calls. The County promises greater efficiency and lower costs in the future.
- A further implication of losing our own dispatch center is that our Police Station will no longer be manned and open 24 hours per day. However, our police department will continue to be open and staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 8:00pm. In response, a new call button has been installed at the Police Station entrance to call the nearest police officer during unoccupied hours.
As a result of the pending changes three of our dispatchers left our employ to take dispatching jobs outside of Lucas County. The City then contracted with Sylvania Township to handle the dispatching we could no longer cover. That transition occurred smoothly. Thanks to Sylvania Township!
It is the promise of Lucas County that residents will also notice little or no change as police dispatching transitions to their centralized call center. Calls to the City of Sylvania for non emergency police services will now need to be made during daytime office hours.
Police Chief Rick Schnoor and all of us will be closely monitoring the dispatch change and demanding improvements be made if and when needed.