Oologah Town Board members reversed an earlier decision and voted to join the new county wide dispatch center Tuesday morning.
The board voted Feb. 14 to delay joining the 911 center north of Claremore. Mayor Jerry Holland had expressed concerns about leadership and management issues with the 911 trust authority. On Tuesday, he said he thought those issues could be addressed and he was now in favor of joining the dispatch center.
“I’ve been communicating with everyone involved. There are problems but we’re working to correct them,” Holland said. “If Oologah drops out it will cause a problem. Now we just need to convince Claremore to come on board. Everyone needs to work with the county commissioners to resolve the problems.”
The Oologah Police Department will begin dispatching emergency and non-emergency calls from the 911 center. The board voted to end dispatching services through Chelsea at midnight on March 31. Board member Darrell Mitchell voted against switching to the new center.
Chelsea is charging the town $1,400 a month for dispatching. The new center will cost the town $1,083 a month.
Oologah Police Chief Novale Thompson was in favor of using the new 911 center. He has been in contact with 911 administrator Janet Hamilton and she assured him the center can handle Oologah’s call volume.
The Oologah Police Department’s radio equipment is compatible with the new dispatch center and there will be no additional cost to the town for the changeover.
Voters approved a $2 million bond package several years ago. The goal was to have all emergency services in the county dispatching from a central location.
Northwest Fire Chief David Puckett has said all entities in the county except Claremore and Catoosa have agreed to use the 911 center. Puckett said Catoosa is considering using the new call center.