St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is seeking to improve the city’s troubled 911 response system by consolidating the heretofore separate fire and police 911 systems. This is a good move, and I think it will result in service and cost benefits for the city’s residents.
911 call centers are ripe for consolidation in Missouri. A number of cities and counties throughout the state have already done this. There are obvious technological and staffing efficiencies with larger 911 systems, without any of the desire for the personal connections that can come from a smaller entity. No one cares if the 911 operator yells “Norm!” and is happy to speak to you when you call; people just want a fast, professional response.
While there is a slight difference between cities merging their municipal centers with other cities (or counties) and the City of St. Louis combining its own two call systems, I think the similarities dominate. Hopefully, we will see many more service-sharing agreements like this around the state.