By DAVE KITCHELL

Pharos-Tribune staff writer

Logansport and Cass County officials have been down this road before.

In the 1990s, they walked the path of a joint city/county central dispatching operation that could have been housed in the new jail. The Logansport City Council voted 4-3 to approve the move, before it was vetoed. Since then, no attempt has been made to combine operations at the dispatching level while maintaining separate departments.

The attempt to combine emergency functions to save tax dollars is not an issue that affects Logansport and Cass County alone. In Marion County, one vote has killed an attempt to combine the Indianapolis Police Department with Marion County Sheriff’s Department. Now, many police may have to be laid off.

In neighboring White, Miami and Pulaski counties, there is already central dispatching, a job that is 24/7, 365 days a year. Eliminating dispatchers at one location could save at least one of those jobs in Cass County and allow taxpayers to get a little more emergency services bang for their buck.

The issue is the focus of this week’s Pharos-Tribune Sound Off question:

Should officials in Cass, Carroll and Fulton counties explore central dispatching operations that combine police and sheriff’s department functions, and if so, where should central dispatching centers be located in the respective counties?

Callers from White, Miami and Pulaski counties where central dispatching is already in effect are invited to call, too, to give their thumbs up or thumbs down to central dispatching in their communities.

Callers may dial in to 722-5000, Ext. 5195, to dispatch their own opinions on the issue. Outside local exchanges, callers may dial (800) 676-4125, Ext. 5195. Callers are asked to leave their name, daytime phone number and opinion.

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