Pappas rejects bringing 9-1-1 dispatch back to city control.

Editor’s Note: North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas issued a statement on the debate over control of 911 dispatch an effort to end public safety discussions. The following statement is attributable to NT PBA President Daryl Truty.

“We are extremely disappointed in the mayor’s actions today. He completely overstated the level of interest the city took in our public safety concerns and he mischaracterized the PBA’s interactions with county officials in discussing the county-run 9-1-1 dispatch process.

His actions also failed to reflect the reality and urgency of what are potentially life or death circumstances, which is much more than disappointing; it is negligent. The mayor also has yet to address the increased response times that have occurred since the city joined the county 9-1-1 dispatch system.

Our members offered recurring savings in an effort to be part of the solution to the 9-1-1 dispatch problems in the city, but the mayor dismissed it in the same way he is dismissing the concerns of North Tonawanda residents. He stated that the expense of converting to a city-operated dispatch system was a secondary concern. We find this assertion to be disingenuous; the lack of funding has always been the reason he has fought our plan.

There are reams of reports and concerns our members have filed with the city that depict dispatch problems: response times have increased, radio connections have been spotty, or officers cannot transmit due to high radio traffic. These problems occur on far-too-frequent basis. But the city forbids the release of this information.

In the interest of transparency, we ask the mayor to divulge any data or documentation he used to justify this reckless decision. And we request he do so at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. Undoubtedly the public will be eager to listen.”

The North Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association represents the interests and well-being of the women and men serving as members of the North Tonawanda Police Department. Daryl Truty is an Erie County native, a resident of North Tonawanda and a 14-year veteran of law enforcement.

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