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Ceres to provide dispatching for Newman PD
Ceres Police dispatchers, operating out of the Third Street headquarters, will begin dispatching for Newman Police starting next summer. The move requires two additional dispatchers which helps Ceres with its own demands. - photo by Jeff Benziger

The Newman Police Department is looking for a new city to provide police dispatching services and the city of Ceres is willing to help in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The Ceres City Council has backed a staff plan to begin providing police dispatching service to the west county city by next summer. Newman currently contracts dispatching services to Oakdale through an agreement that ends on June 30, 2019 and they won’t be renewing. Newman needs an agency that will have at least two dispatchers on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ceres and Newman are seeking a five-year contract that calls for Newman to pay $16,000 per month from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022 for an annual total of $192,000 for the first three years. The cost will increase to $16,500 monthly, or $198,000 per year, beginning July 1, 2022.

Newman will pay for all costs of added lines, upgrades or any other expenses related to the contract.

Over the next nine months the two cities will work with SunRidge Systems, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the IT Departments from both agencies to address the T-1 lines, computer equipment and phone lines necessary to connect the two cities. Newman is approximately 22 miles southwest of Ceres.

Ceres Police Chief Brent Smith sees the contract as a win-win for both cities. It’s more cost-effective for Newman – which has a call volume about one-twelfth the size of Ceres – to contract with a neighboring city. Ceres benefits from the Newman contract because it helps pay for additional dispatchers that Ceres needs but cannot presently afford. Smith said Ceres will hire two additional full-time dispatchers to schedule two dispatchers at all times in the CPD Dispatch Center.

“This contract with Newman would more than pay for the cost of the additional personnel for the next five years,” said Chief Smith.

Currently Ceres Police Department employs eight full-time dispatchers but needs 10. The fully burdened cost of one dispatcher is $90,899.

The city has already started looking for reserve dispatchers with the goal to be fully trained and ready to move into full-time positions on July 1, 2019.