SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Emergency calls to 911 in Los Altos, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale could soon be handled by a single dispatch center.

Those cities are also looking to trim operating costs by consolidating fire prevention and records management services, said James Keene, the city manager in Palo Alto.

“Should each jurisdiction have its own building for dispatch and communications? Should each jurisdiction have its own evidence storage facility and building or vehicle storage building? Particularly when we’re very close to each other geographically,” Keene said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Merging the dispatch centers is possible because the four cities use the same communications platform, though Keene said the consolidation would not happen immediately.

“We thought it was an important enough topic that we would take it to each of our councils,” he said.

Cities have to consider novel ways of operating or else they will not be able to afford to provide the level of service the community expects, Keene said.

He pointed to the regional waste water plant and the animal services department Palo Alto now provides to other cities through a joint powers agreement as an example of successfully regionalizing some services.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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