HALIFAX– No, despite what may be going around on social media, the Halifax Police Station will not be moving to Duxbury. Neither will the fire station. But, just as Plympton has done, and many other communities around the state, including all of Barnstable County, Halifax officials led by Selectman Kim Roy have furthered discussions with Duxbury officials and state 911 officials to contract-out dispatching of Halifax emergency personnel to Duxbury, which was the focus of the discussion at the BOS meeting on Tuesday, May 24.
Duxbury already contracts this function for the Town of Plympton, and the addition of Halifax would officially upgrade Duxbury to a regional emergency communications center (RECC), making them eligible for further grant money, an incentive for them to assist Halifax.
The state would also assist Halifax during the transition period to Duxbury dispatching and with upgrades to technology needed for the project to work, Roy estimated the savings, with an initial 5-year contract, would be in the realm of $175,000 per year.
The decision makes sense on a variety of levels, says Roy. There are incentives from the state – the savings are significant – but not only that, both the police and fire departments are supportive. “If you had said you’re crazy, we wouldn’t even be talking about this,” said Roy to the chiefs.
Furthermore, Halifax simply cannot afford to attract new dispatchers, and has had high turnover rates in the past. Roy says one dispatcher has already tendered his resignation and will leave for Duxbury anyway, and that Duxbury may be able to hire the remaining Halifax dispatchers, if the deal moves forward, as they will need a larger staff at their RECC.
Both chiefs stated that the “end-user” experience would not change. Police Chief Broderick furthered that most people would never know the difference. Plympton authorities have previously stated that they are pleased with their arrangement and that for the most part, the transition was smooth.
Officials were quick to point out this is not a done deal. At least one public hearing will be held, currently scheduled for June 1 at 7 p.m., Town Hall, and that further due-diligence is needed to hammer out a fair agreement for the town and work out the finer details.
In other public safety news, in what has become an almost routine announcement by the selectmen, the Halifax Fire Department led by Chief Jason Vivieros has received yet another large grant, this time to replace 27 aging portable radios with new digital-capable radios that meet current communications standards. The grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is a 95%/5% split, meaning the town will have to match a small portion of the $62,100 project.
• The Halifax Board of Selectmen will next meet on Tuesday, June 14 at 6 p.m.
• The Halifax Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:45 p.m. on an application from Morse Brothers, Inc. to remove 41,600 cubic yard of fill from their property. This material is on an elevated portion of their property and they seek to remove the material in order to increase cranberry yields on other portions of the property, according to town officials. The 41,600 cubic yards of fill are equal to 1,665 truckloads of material. Morse Brothers, Inc. proposes transporting the material along Lingan Street to Route 58. The complete application is available for viewing in the Selectmen’s office. Those with questions should contact Town Administrator Charlie Seelig, at 781-294-1316.