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Ipswich Takes 'First, Bold Step' Toward Possibly Joining Hamilton Dispatch

Ipswich will study the possibility of joining Hamilton dispatch with a technical feasability study.

Hamilton and Ipswich will know in just a few weeks what it will take to bring both towns together in the existing emergency dispatch center in Hamilton.

On Monday night, the Hamilton Board of Selectmen will be asked to sign an intermunicipal agreement with Ipswich to undertake a Technical Feasibility Study that will look at what would be needed to connect Ipswich into the Hamilton-Wenham Emergency Center.

“(Ipswich) has agreed to take the first, bold step, formally,” said Hamilton Town Manager Michael Lombardo on Friday.

The study will cost up to $2,500 for both Hamilton and Ipswich and a draft report will be completed in 4-6 weeks.

Hamilton and Wenham have been partners at the Hamilton-Wenham Emergency Center – in the – since the 1960. It was the first of what would become many joint operations between the two towns. The center handles emergency and non-emergency police, fire and ambulance calls around the clock, 365 days per year.

Sometime in the next year, though, , which is under construction.

That has meant Hamilton part of its dispatch center to help at least hold its share of costs even, or possibly lower it. Without Wenham, it may cost Hamilton as much as $250,000 annually to keep the dispatch center running on its own. The existing center is funded not only by Wenham but by a state grant that goes to towns that work together on dispatch.

Bringing Ipswich on board would, at least, hold costs even for Hamilton as compared to the current operation with Wenham, Lombardo said.

Lombardo said if Ipswich was to go ahead with moving dispatch services to Hamilton, the move could happen when Ipswich is ready.

“We have the capacity to bring them on board as soon as they’d like,” he said.

Last November, Lombardo first told the Board of Selectmen but did not name the town. Just in the past few weeks Lombardo said it was Ipswich. And there is at least one other town that has also been discussing possibly becoming part of the Hamilton dispatch center, too, but that town has yet to be named publicly.

That town has “internal things to deal with” and talk may become more serious this summer, Lombardo said.

“I don’t want to build hope or fear in any other community needlessly,” he said.

Concerned Taxpayer May 21, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I do hope Ipswich becomes a new member of the towns dispatch center as the enormous complex we built for the emergency crews in town seems to be twice the size needed for just Hamilton services and the word is that the cost is incredibly high to have just Hamilton services dispatched from this mega-dispatch center. I know from officers in Wenham that Wenham had good reason and a true want to leave the ugly shadow that the Hamilton police has created. With police officers from Wenham even refusing to go into the Hamilton station for routine business just because of their lack of trust of the Hamilton police I don't say I blame them. I do not think anyone can blame them for going elsewhere for services because the numerous Hamilton fiascos has definitely tainted all of us in this town to the officers in town. However it comes down to, as many have said, taxes! Hamilton's rate of taxation is going higher each year and this town needs to find ways to reduce the costs of mistakes made in the past, and if Ipswich will agree to look past Hamilton's reputation then we should make them a very good deal to come and help us reduce the cost of the dispatch center. It is a good way to help cut costs. Let us hope Ipswich can help our town by relieving some of the cost by joining our dispatch, work with our dispatch, police and fire departments and begin to reduce the costs to live here to each taxpayer!
John S. May 22, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Concerned taxpayer you may be rightfully concerned about our tax rates but I am growing more concerned over the quality of the police officers in Hamilton. It would seem like all articles in the Patch all have comments about the improper actions by the police in Hamilton and now it centers on how other police from towns in this area do not respect or trust the Hamilton officers. A few years ago Hamilton was on the front page of every Salem newspaper because of the amount of scandals in the Hamilton police, their mistakes were popular headline topics. From what I hear almost all the officers involved in those issues are still working and causing other police officers from neighboring towns to be uncomfortable even being in the same building as them. I am not concerned about reputation but I am very concerned if there was inappropriate or criminal things done by these cops at the Hamilton police and most of those officer lied about the fake police training and were paid tax money they did not earn then gave medical treatment to people when they were not certified to give medical treatment, there should be something done! These officers are still working here and police in other towns are concerned? Why are the townspeople not concerned? I think this is a greater threat to us than taxes. Is there anyone that can verify this, and tell me how those officers, if they were found guilty, can still be cops?

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