Gubernatorial candidate says RI's 9-1-1 system is wasteful - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Gubernatorial candidate says RI's 9-1-1 system is wasteful

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 By: Alexandra Cowley 

acowley@abc6.com 

Rhode Island is wasting tens of millions of dollars on its 9–1–1 dispatch system, that according to one candidate for governor. Republican Ken Block says the ocean state has been doing it all wrong, and he has a plan to save you, the taxpayer a lot of money.

Ken Block stood in front of Rhode Island state police headquarters to make his pitch on improving the state's 9–1–1 dispatch system.

Block says, "In 48 other states emergency dispatch occurs from the same place in which 9–1–1 calls are answered."

Block says in Rhode Island all 9–1–1 calls are answered at state police headquarters, then transferred to other local dispatch stations around the state. He says the process doesn't just waste tax payer dollars, but it's wasting potentially lifesaving time.

"When seconds count in an emergency, that's not providing the level of service that's necessary and required," he said. 

Block used cash strapped Woonsocket as an example of how consolidating the emergency dispatch into one, could save a lot of money.

"Woonsocket is consolidating its police and dispatch services and is expecting to save between 500 and 600 thousand dollars annually," he explained. 

The Republican candidate says the exact savings are not calculated, but it would eliminate 39 separate call centers. He estimates that alone, would save tens of millions of dollars.

The consolidation would mean the loss of dispatcher jobs, but Block couldn't give a number of how many jobs would be lost.

Ken Block and Allan Fung are running in the Republican primary. Gina Raimondo, Clay Pell, Angel Taveras, and Todd Giroux are all facing off in the Democratic primary.

Kate Fletcher and Leon Kayarian qualified as independents.

James Spooner is running as a moderate.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014 

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