Morro Bay to contract out emergency dispatch services

August 13, 2014

Police building_tThe Morro Bay City Council voted unanimously during a special meeting Monday to contract out the city’s police and fire dispatch services to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and Cal Fire respectively.

The move, which also pertains to the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol, is expected to save the city nearly $43,000 in the first year of the new arrangement and more down the line, according to a staff report prepared by Interim City Manager Ed Kreins. Employee turnover and low staffing levels had caused the city to rack up recruitment, training and overtime costs on dispatch services.

Following a recommendation from the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury, the city of Arroyo Grande opted earlier this year to contract out their dispatch services to the sheriff’s office. The city of Grover Beach received the same recommendation from the grand jury but opted not to follow suit.


I will be extremely surprised if this saves any funding at all as the pay rates at both the sheriff and cal fire are extremely high, but we shall see. The more disturbing issue here is the way this issue came up – quick, at a “special meeting” held on a Monday with little public input or notification. I guess gone are the days where the city council used to let us residents know about what was going to happen and give us time to provide our input. Also, as the dispatch goes over to these agencies, gone are the days of personal “down home” service and knowing the employees that were here taking care of us.


I don’t think its such a hot deal, the 911 calls will be forwarded 3 times to get help on MB, its not a one call fits all thing here folks,it will now take longer for responses of various agencys to get the help we need in MB be it fire,police or what ever, and now with no dispatch at the PD there will be no night help in person if you knock or ring the door,theres none home here.


How much does it cost to have the Sheriff’s Office dispatch for the cities?


It will end up without lowering thing much, except for the lowering of standards and local control.

So Irons thinks he saved $ 43,000 in the first year. Let’s see, that is about ONE DAY of expense the Morro Bay public will pay for the sewer debacle of not upgrading an existing plant, and seizing private land for his boondoggle “from scratch” WW treatment plant.

What’s the point of fussing over pennies when you’ve blown a King’s Ransom in ratepayer monies on a LUNATIC civil engineering expenditure?

fishing village

A win win!! all the way. An amazing presentation by everyone involved! MB Police Chief, Fire Chief, Sheriff, under Sheriff. I can’t wait for the new system.


fishing village…you are a as KSLY would have said in the old days a complete BAFOON! Our city will be going back to county control under its current INEPT leadership. IRONS, The Shmuck, and Christine Johnson. This is just the beginning of losing control as a city. Thanks to your almighty saviors.


A classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.


Are these contracts for communication services the foot in the door for full contracts for all police services in these respective cities?

I know cities in Orange, L.A. and Ventura counties contract to the sheriff for police services and save a lot of money in so doing. Is that the strategy here or was that question not asked at the council meetings?

fishing village



Absolutely, just a matter of time.

Kevin Rice

MB could have saved $500,000 not ousting its city manager and attorney. Now public safety will suffer.


Could MB save even more if they outsourced to a call center in India?

Mr. Holly

What a savings it would be if there were one central dispatch system for the county. All of the little kingdoms in the cities would cry foul and that it couldn’t and wouldn’t work. In that case I wonder how large jurisdictions like LAPD, LACO Sheriff and associated fire districts function? Actually they function very well as everything is centrally located and coordinated and they run very efficiently. Currently, depending on the emergency, time is lost as different dispatch centers have to relay information over a land line in order to have the necessary equipment to respond to an emergency. Depending on the severity of the incident there is critical time delays while making these calls while attempting to handle other emergency situations.

Although good luck with this idea. What government agency would, on their own, ever consider being efficient with a cost savings?


That is a great idea. Would sure save $$ and time for everyone in the long run.How about a fee for being in the system based on population so larger entities pay more than smaller ones (those entities who do not join are on their own) and a per-call charge to make cost as equitable as possible.