CCi Brings New Central Communications Center
to Dekalb County

Dekalb County, like most Indiana counties, has many different dispatch centers for their Police, Sheriff, Fire, and EMS departments. New laws are now requiring there to be only one Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) per county. This is causing a need to have new found coordination and cooperation between agencies that have had their own way of doing business. Differing radio frequencies, radio language, call signs, paper trails, dispatch criteria, etc. must now be combined into one coordinated team effort. Construction Control, inc. was chosen to be the construction manager of the new Dekalb County Central Communications Center and participated in the design process with the architect and their entire Central Dispatch Committee to come up with a facility that not only met their needs but kept the construction costs to a minimum.

The power struggles over which part of the dispatch systems stay and which go can be overwhelming. Dekalb County, after many years of discussion, came up with an agreement combining all five of their dispatch centers into one. The plan came together due to new legislation, the inherent cost efficiency of a single location, improved call times, total agency interaction, and increased public safety. They decided to build a separate dispatch facility since no one agency could meet the new standards. The facility is being built only to house the PSAP and the Emergency Operation Center. The EOC will be occupied only during emergencies and staffed with the designated emergency agencies.

Central Communications Centers are generally built to withstand major environmental and potential terrorist threats. Consequently, they are designed more like a bunker than a normal building. They are completely self-contained with back-up systems in place for most any emergency. Only authorized personnel are allowed in and there is no public access.

The Dekalb County Central Communications Center will be a 6500 square foot building with all of the requirements to handle the counties dispatch needs for the next 20 years. It is being designed per NFPA 1221 and FEMA 361 to withstand an F3 Tornado, it will have complete backup systems for utilities, and will meet the criteria for a terrorist attack.

Due to new legislation requiring only one PSAP per county by December 31, 2014, the biggest hurdle will be for each of the existing dispatch centers in any given county to agree to combine into one. In order to do that, a Central Dispatch Committee needs to be started with all of the agencies having a voice. The County Commissioners oversee the CDC as the funding generally comes through the county with the help of the other agencies. Once a committee is formed, negotiations among member agencies should begin to create common policies and procedures that serve both the needs of the users and the public.

A design team consisting of Construction Control, inc. and the Architect will work with your Central Dispatch Committee to develop a new facility to fit your needed program size and find the most appropriate site within your county. 2014 may seem like a long way off but time is critical as none of the processes are quick and easy. Please give us a call to answer any of your concerns.