[Ed note: My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor submitted by Southborough residents. Letters may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This letter is from Kyle DeVincent President of Southborough Communications Officers’ union and Keith Nichols, Vice President of Southborough Police Officers’ union.]
To the Editor:
The Town of Southborough and its residents deserve to have locally based public safety communications and 911 dispatching, and a police headquarters that is staffed 24 hours a day.
These are fundamental municipal services and basic expectations that almost every community has in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The proposal to merge Southorough’s emergency dispatch functions into a shared regional dispatch center would represent a downgrade in the quality of service to this community.
Furthermore, only recently has it come to the attention of all who stand to be impacted by this proposal that the site under consideration for this regional 911 center has a history of severe environmental contamination. In fact it previously required environmental remediation under the federal superfund program, and is currently restricted from several uses such as residential, school facilities or daycare centers.
This is a matter of great concern with regard to the health and wellbeing of those who would be required to work in this facility.
Additionally, a regional dispatch center would also place town residents and other members of the public in the position of having no safe haven at Southborough Police Headquarters. Not overnight. Not early in the morning. Not at any time of the day at all.
Public safety is a basic responsibility of any municipality. The operations that ensure the safety and security of our community is no place for outsourcing.
A community’s police station is supposed to be a touchpoint for safety and security for anyone in need of assistance, at any time of the day. Dispatchers are trained to deliver on that promise as part of the services they provide as public safety communications specialists.
The importance of a public safety dispatch staff that is dedicated and responsible for THIS community cannot be overstated. Local dispatchers build an important personal relationship with police, fire and other emergency personnel as well as with other municipal service providers and the public at large. They quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the community we serve and a set of best practices for assessing a situation and dispatching the necessary emergency personnel to a scene.
A public safety headquarters should be a safe place for someone to come to – 24 hours a day. And it should provide a safe and healthy environment for the professionals who work there. Southborough’s existing public safety headquarters meets both of these criteria.
Kyle DeVincent, President of MassCOP Local 445, the Southborough Communications Officers
Keith Nichols, Vice President of MassCOP Local 167, Southborough Police Officers union
My sentiments exactly. Keep it local!
You are so right. We need to GET OUT of this dangerous experimemt — which our Select Board has entered. The board was seduced by the temporary financial incentives offered by the State, to promote regionalisation. The Board forgot that, under regionalisation, Town Meeting will lose all budgetary control. That’s something we should NEVER ALLOW.
Let’s get out now, before we become trapped .
Wake up folks this insane proposal has proven time and time again to be a huge mistake in both town safety and expenditure of town taxes! This should not be allowed in any manner and we should direct any funds needed to the great facility we already have now!