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GREENVILLE, PA. Thiel gift will save operation



Published: Sun, April 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The move will save the jobs of some of Greenville's police officers and fire dispatchers.

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- A $25,000 contribution from Thiel College will enable the Mercer County Regional Council of Governments to maintain 24-hour emergency dispatching services when it takes over operation of the Greenville jail.

COG is converting the jail into a regional lockup to serve police departments in northwestern Mercer County.

The original plan called for Greenville's dispatchers to lose their jobs, but James DeCapua, COG executive director, told his board here Wednesday that Thiel College has asked that the regional lockup take over dispatching duties for its campus security force. Thiel will contribute $25,000 a year for the service, he said.

Saves jobs

That will save some of the six dispatching jobs in Greenville.

DeCapua said he will meet with Greenville authorities today to determine how many people will be needed to maintain the dispatch center. The dispatchers will no longer be borough employees but will be hired by COG, he added.

Greenville is closing its jail and eliminating its dispatchers in an effort to reduce operating costs as the borough works to recover from a $1.6 million budget deficit.

The original plan called for COG to take over the jail, keeping the department's daytime clerk but hiring part-time jail attendants as needed at $5.50 per hour when prisoners are in the jail.

Now, employees kept by COG as dispatchers will be able to double as jail attendants, DeCapua said.

Emergency calls

The lockup dispatchers also will handle emergency calls that come into the station over the regular administrative police and fire lines. All 911 calls will be dispatched through the Mercer County 911 center, DeCapua said. The first-year budget for the regional lockup is $125,000; $70,000 of that expected to come from a state grant.




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