Nobody thinks Bethlehem should hastily let the County take over 9/11 dispatch. Nobody is suggesting that:
Hudak said if city merged its 911 center with Northampton County’s, the police’s ability to fight crime by using strategically placed cameras throughout the city would be compromised. “I worry about us,” Hudak said. “If you have all those cameras and nobody’s watching them, what good are they?”
Hudak acknowledged that the cost of maintaining Bethlehem’s 911 center will continue to increase, and said the city will likely have to merge with the county eventually because of decreased state funding.
But he said he was wary of claims that a merger would save city residents money. “They would be transferring what they are paying in city taxes to the county,” Hudak said. “So are you really saving [taxpayers] money? No.”
Actually nobody knows the answer to that question, because nobody’s done the study yet.
Ask city politicians, first responders and residents to list all their concerns, and then try to figure out whether the County could deliver the same quality of services.
Is there actually a good reason why the county 911 center can’t work with the city’s police cameras, or are people just assuming that? Would paying some people to do that job from the county be cheaper than running the entire 911 center in-house? Who knows! Just do the study and then we can all debate the trade-offs.