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Ceres police dispatch center to move

The Ceres police and fire dispatch center is being improved and being relocated within the Police Department building on Third Street.

"The current dispatch center is 15 years old, much of the furniture is broken down and the floor is worn out," said Police Chief Brent Smith in a memo to the Ceres City Council asking for a $51,384 allocation. The funds come from a $94,518 payment of the state designed to offset the impacts of the state's early release program to make room in state prisons.

Earlier in the year, the city used $10,000 for police overtime, $23,133 for a license plate reader and $10,000 for police training. The remaining $51,384 will be used to relocate and revamp the dispatch center.

The center will be moved from the ground-level floor to the second floor and be constructed so that it can grow with time.

"Due to the fact the dispatch center is located on the first floor," said Chief Smith, "the wiring is directly under the floor, making it difficult to clean and repair the carpet. The second floor location will alleviate this problem because the electrical system is in the walls, and not in the floor."

The state began early releases of lower level offenders in state prisons in response to a court mandate to reduce prison overcrowding. That caused police departments to experience increased activity for repeat offenders doing property crimes and dealing drugs. The state tried to make up for the blow of increased crime by paying cities extra funds based on population size to deal with the problem.