A judge has lifted the restraining order delaying the opening of a new Ingham County 911 dispatch center. This comes after workers got an injunction to stop it because they say they're not properly trained to work in the new building.
It was a disappointing ruling for 911 dispatchers.
"They're not happy," said Tom Krug, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge. "They don't feel comfortable in this life and death job."
An attorney representing the dispatchers argued they were inadequately trained for the new call center. However, Ingham county officials say the dispatchers have received 40 hours of training, and are ready to use the new phone system.
"It is my opinion that 911 dispatchers for the city of Lansing and East Lansing are very experienced, consummate professionals," said Ingham County Deputy Controller John Neilsen. "And I think that they'll make the transition and we'll be there to assist them every step of the way."
Ultimately, Judge Joyce Draganchuk ruled the court simply doesn't have the authority to block the call center from opening, since there are no state standards regulating 911 dispatcher training.
"With the judges ruling, the county will open the 911 center with the training that's been done," said Krug. "And they proceed at their own peril."
The new dispatch center, located on Jolly Road east of Cedar Road, features state-of-the-art equipment, and combines the Lansing and East Lansing centers.
The county has already spent more than $80,000 training the dispatchers, and plans to spend $40,000 more when the call center opens. All of the dispatchers who will work at the new center have had prior experience with the job.
County officials hope to open the new center in just a few weeks, and they say they're confident the dispatchers will be ready.