Highway patrol to merge communication facilities

Times-NewsJuly 27, 2013 

— State budget cuts will close the N.C. Highway Patrol’s Greensboro communications center next month.

Beginning Aug. 12, emergency calls for service from Alamance and eight other central North Carolina counties will be routed through the Troop C Communications Center in Raleigh. The Greensboro Troop D Communications Center is one of three highway patrol communication hubs being dissolved before Oct. 1 in a cost-saving measure enacted by the General Assembly.

Several weeks later, the 20-county Troop A communications will also merge into the Raleigh communication center.

That consolidation shouldn’t affect response times or negatively impact public safety, patrol spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.

First Sgt. Tim Crumpler, director of Alamance County’s trooper headquarters in Graham, said officers are losing friends in the job cuts as well as dispatchers’ familiarity with the roads and landmarks.

“It takes away the personal touch they had with troopers here,” Crumpler said. “But we’ll deal with it. We’re professionals. We’ll make it work.”

Closing the three centers is expected to save $1.1 million in the first year and $1.7 million the year after. Thirty positions will be cut from the communication department.

The Greensboro center employs 17 people, Gordon said. Three of those employees went to slots in Raleigh and Newton. Five vacant positions were transferred to the Raleigh communication center. One of the positions was eliminated and the remaining eight positions went into the reduction-in-force lottery.

Employees in that lottery get the first shot at positions that come open within the highway patrol’s dispatch.

The Asheville Troop G Communication Center is the third dispatch office being dissolved. It’s being consolidated with the Troop F headquarters in Newton.

Advancements in technology have made merging the communication centers possible and should make operations more efficient, the N.C. Department of Public Safety says.

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