Placer County to move Tahoe City dispatch station to Auburn
April 14, 2009
TAHOE CITY ” A plan by Placer County to shutter the Tahoe Sheriff’s dispatch center this year has some locals worried about community safety.
Nana Hoyt, a Kings Beach resident and 27-year North Tahoe local said the move puts citizens and officers in danger when dispatchers 80 miles away in Auburn accept calls from Tahoe locals.
Capt. Jeff Grannum, who commands the Placer substation, said the move will save money by consolidating a single service to Auburn.
On March 24 the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to consolidate all dispatch in Auburn, ceasing dispatch operations on the North Shore.
By consolidating all dispatch to Auburn, Grannum said the Sheriff’s Department is accomplishing its goal of streamlining operations, and, he said hiring at the North Tahoe location is challenging.
“It’s difficult to hire up here when you think about the cost of living and so forth,” Grannum said. “Besides, most of the people who are dispatching in Auburn used to live and work in Tahoe, so they have a good feel for where people are calling from and have just moved down for one reason or another.”
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Grannum said the Auburn dispatch center has been handling one-third to one-half of all Tahoe calls over the last year without a negative impact.
He said the shift to Auburn will continue over the course of the year.
Hoyt said she’s worried about safety because of the switch.
“I worry that when callers give landmarks to people 75 miles away they won’t know what they’re talking about, like the ‘wye’ or the Savemart, which a lot of us still refer to as Lucky’s from almost 25 years ago,” Hoyt said. “I feel it’s an officer safety issue and a community safety issue. I think this is something people in the community need to know about.”
Hoyt pointed community members to http://savenorthtahoedispatch.wordpress.com, where a number of self-identified residents have already voiced their concern about the switch.
Grannum said dispatchers posted at the Tahoe station will be either reassigned to Auburn or assisted in looking for other Tahoe Basin- based county jobs.
He said the transition should be complete by the end of the year.
“We have the technology to make this work effectively,” Grannum said.
Jennifer Montgomery, who represents North Lake Tahoe on the Board of Supervisors, did not return calls left at her office by press time Tuesday.