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Millburn Dispatchers Say They are Losing Their Jobs

The town's dispatchers say they have been told two months ago Livingston will take over dispatching, though the town has yet to formally vote on the matter.

Although Millburn Township officials announced a  and have not yet voted on the matter, six Millburn dispatchers said they were told two months ago they are losing their jobs starting Jan. 1, 2013.

 the proposal for these shared services was in a subcommittee for consideration and not yet approved. The subcommittee is supposed to give a report at the next Township Committee meeting on Aug. 21. where it may be acted upon.

Yet, the dispatchers, who have released a letter as a group, say they believe the township has already made up its mind. They said they knew they were losing their jobs since the end of May.

According to the business administrator, Thomas Gordon, the township was exploring shared services because of a limited budget established by two percent increase cap per year. 

Township officials have denied any knowledge of the dispatchers being told their positions will no longer be available starting next year. The dispatchers also said Livingston is not hiring any of the Millburn dispatchers after the transition. 

The Millburn Police dispatchers, who have been reluctant to speak publicly on the matter, have written the following letter to the Patch detailing what they have been told:

Dear Editor, 

The Township of Millburn Police Dispatchers were verbally informed at the end of May by their Union leadership that the Township of Millburn intends to have their Police Dispatch Services for Millburn and Short Hills residents provided by the Township of Livingston effective January 1, 2013.

The Union Representative and Shop Steward were informed of this by the Township of Millburn management, who called a closed door meeting with the Union and informed them that this was their plan. We were also told that Livingston so far has expressed no interest in hiring any of the current Millburn Dispatcher employees and as a result, we would no longer have positions as Dispatch employees for the Township of Millburn after January 1, 2013.

Sincerely,

The Township of Millburn Police Dispatchers

a fellow dispatcher August 07, 2012 at 12:41 AM
As a dispatcher in a neighboring town who has been this doing this job for over 10 years, there are many things we do and the public should be aware of just how important our job is. On any given day, during any shift, dispatchers handle a large variety of calls ranging from simple questions about parking, various reports and filing them or picking one up, asking of advice, MVA’s, medical aids, power outages, lines down, public assists, lock outs, thefts, criminal mischief, burglaries, alarms and the list is endless right down to the elderly resident who calls because she is lonely and would just like to talk. Is a dispatcher’s job important, yes it is! The dispatcher is the first point of contact you will have when you call the police, whether it is a 911 call, a regular line call, a transfer from another department or just walking in. We are the people you come to see or call when you have a problem and need the help of the police. We are the people you call when you see that suspicious person, vehicle or act taking place. We are the people that you call when a solicitor comes to your door and we can verify if they have permission or not. We are the people you call when you need an officer, the fire department, the first aid squad or medics.
a fellow dispatcher August 07, 2012 at 12:41 AM
There seems to be some negativity surrounding these stories and people are not getting the “true facts”. Residents of Millburn need to start asking questions and demanding answers. These are your tax dollars at work, do you want to pay another town your tax money for services you deserve from your local dispatchers. Has anyone even stopped to think about how Livingston dispatchers feel taking on another town, while doubling their call volume, not knowing anything about the town, about its residents or officers. All this and not even increasing their manpower for the desk. In the end, a dispatcher’s major concern is for the safety of town residents and its officers.
Craig McCarthy August 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Hey Joel, here you go http://patch.com/A-wHvj. Hopefully the conversation can be discussed through the poll and comments.
James Berger August 10, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I feel that the milburn spatchers are getting a raw deal. Times are bad getting rid ofw them won't solve anything just put 6 more people on unemployment.The dispatchers know the area and residents very well I'm sure Livingston doesn't. I vote to keep our dispatchers,the neck
Sagamore mom 143 August 11, 2012 at 01:06 AM
DS, again they aren't "contending" for their jobs! Granted no one wants to lose their job, but it's not about that. You ALWAYS have something negative to say and I feel sorry for someone that sits behind a computer and makes comments like this. If you actually read and understood what was stated above, this is about the shady undertakings of the town commitee and them "claiming" those comments were never made. And to the latter of your comment, do you even know how much this is "reducing costs?" Furthermore, read below as stated by Big Show, you aren't getting any discount in your taxes because the township may be saving a few dollars.

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