Village of Menomonee Falls — The transition of Menomonee Falls' police, fire and EMS dispatch services to the Waukesha County Communications Center (WCC) is scheduled to take effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1.
"It was in the best interest of both the citizens to provide dispatch services, and it was our fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers that we make this switch," said Assistant Police Chief Mark Waters.
The WCC dispatch center will connect Falls residents to WCC dispatchers when they call 911. Previously, emergency calls would be transferred from Waukesha County to the local dispatch center, and then subsequently dispatch to either fire, medical or law enforcement.
Also formerly for non-emergency calls, residents were to call 262-532-1700, but the new phone number for the WCC non-emergency line is 262-446-5070.
Waters said this transition has several benefits to the community, including cost-saving features for taxpayers.
"With WCC taking over, with dispatch centers, there’s a lot of hardware that needs to be maintained on an almost five-year basis," Waters said. "Although the cost savings isn’t there right away with this transition, in the long term when the hardware needs to be replaced, there’s going to be savings there.”
The transition is also supposed to save emergency-response time.
"Now, with the 911 call coming through the cell phone it will be received by WCC, and then they will immediately dispatch, so there’s a little bit of time saving there," Waters said.
The WCC dispatchers are also more qualified in emergency medical dispatching.
"They can provide better guidance over the phone in regards to medical emergencies," Waters said.
Aside from the new number for non-emergency calls, the Menomonee Falls Police Department wants residents to know there will now be two testing sirens every week for severe weather; one 1 p.m. Wednesdays and another at noon Saturdays.
The big trend in government has been to consolidate services, Waters said.
“Several years ago, WCC started expanding their capabilities," Waters said. "Several jurisdictions started switching over to that. There used to be a greater number of Public Service Answering Points (PSAP), which are dispatch centers, and the big trend in government is consolidation, so over the years, you saw the city of Brookfield make the transition. Most recently, before us was the city of New Berlin, so the number of PSAP's have been diminishing year after year, and it’s in the greater sense of consolidation of governmental services.”