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Kennedale
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

City Contracts with Mansfield to provide dispatch and jail facilities

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At the regular board meeting on September 12, the Kennedale City Council voted to allow City Manager Bob Hart to execute an interlocal agreement with the City of Mansfield for police and fire dispatch calls and for jail facilities.
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What does this mean for a 911 caller in Kennedale?
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According to Kennedale Police Chief Tommy Williams the caller will hear or see no change in the call or services provided. The calls will still be answered with ?911, what is your emergency?? {{more}}He said that ?They will still get a Kennedale police officer, a Kennedale ambulance, a Kennedale fire truck or whatever service that they need from Kennedale.?
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For non-emergency administrative calls placed to the Kennedale Police Department, Williams added, “A caller will still be answered like they are now. They will get the same electronic selection. You will dial the extension you need and be able to leave a voice message for whoever you need to talk to. The Mansfield facility will strictly handle emergency calls. The caller should not be able to tell any difference whatsoever.?
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He went on to add ?Several of our dispatchers or up for positions [there]. They [Mansfield] are going to rotate several dispatchers out of our offices, so that they come familiar with our officers, with our citizens who call, with our geographical locations, just things of that nature. By the time it comes around for them to operate that [new] facility, they will be as familiar with this area as they are with their own area [there].?
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The new Mansfield/Kennedale Emergency Call Center located in Mansfield will open approximately March 1 but implementation of the agreement will begin October 1, 2013.
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Why is the agreement being approved?
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In an ongoing effort to provide maximum return on city tax dollars, Kennedale city leaders have decided to work with the City of Mansfield to consolidate some services. ?In a letter to the Kennedale Council members, Chief Williams stated ??we have considered several options over the years including a combined facility with Forest Hill and contracting with the City of Arlington?s dispatch facility.? ? Later in a phone call, Williams said that this agreement mirrors agreement made by other departments in the north section of Tarrant County. He cited the examples of Keller, Southlake and Colleyville as well as North Richland Hills, Watagua, Haltom City and Richland Hills, who all have similar agreements.
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With this agreement, the Mansfield Police Department will become the point of first contact for the Kennedale police and fire department and will dispatch Kennedale police and emergency services as needed as well as house prisoners arrested by Kennedale police officers.
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In return Kennedale will have
    • calls answered by 2 police and 1 fire dispatcher plus 2 telephone operators for total of five dispatchers compared to 1 Kennedale dispatcher per shift. Currently after hours this one Kennedale dispatcher also must handle any and all calls plus work the front desk. If more than one 911 call comes in at the same time, the dispatcher has to prioritize the emergency.
    • have use of a jail facility that meets all state and federal guidelines and is staff by fulltime staff something Kennedale is not able to do. Prisoners must be monitored every 15 minutes so this does pull officers off patrol to perform these duties. In the letter the Chief says that in his time here there has been one suicide and several attempts. This also means that Mansfield emergency staff would be responsible for all sick and injured prisoners while in Mansfield facilities.

The agreement will be a five year deal with the option of renewal for an additional five years. ?Under the agreement all dispatch personnel will be employed and supervised by the Mansfield Police Department. Mansfield will provide an opportunity for ?not less than two? Kennedale dispatchers conditional employment.

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Mansfield will agree to provide the following:
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1. answering all KENNEDALE emergency 9-1-1 calls within ten seconds or less;
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2. dispatching emergency calls for Fire/EMS service in one minute or less 90% of the time;

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3. dispatching emergency calls for Police Service in one and a half minutes or less 90% of the time;
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4. providing a dedicated person assigned as a Fire Dispatcher;
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5. answering any citizen requests for service placed to the designated non-emergency number;
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6. dispatching police patrol units, fire apparatus, or EMS as appropriate in response to 9-1-1 or other calls, or at KENNEDALE?s direction;
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7. maintaining radio or other remote communications with KENNEDALE?s police, fire, or EMS units as necessary to facilitate provision of services;
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8. maintaining documentary records of all dispatching activity according to industry standards.
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9. maintaining a service level that complies with all applicable standards for communication functions as required presently and in the future as accepted by industry standards.
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A standing committee composed of two representatives of the Kennedale Police Department and two Mansfield employments of the police department and two from the jail facilities will address operational and policy decisions that will arise from operating the public safety dispatch center and Jail.
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The interlocal agreement was unanimously approved by the council.
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Chief Williams summed it up, ?For us [in Kennedale] that [agreement] equates to much better local service for our citizens, our employees and everyone involved in our system.?

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