Whitcom Communications Center
The City continued its fifth year of contracting all dispatching and E-911 responsibilities to the Whitcom Communications Center in Pullman, Washington. In August of 2006 the City signed a dispatching agreement extending our contract with Whitcom that is valid until December 31, 2009. A Non-Appropriation Clause was added which allows the City to be released from the agreement upon a 30 day notice as long as the City does not contract with any other entity which provides a similar service. The City expended $417,700.00 for fiscal year 07-08 to Whitcom for police and fire dispatching services. Another $7,500.00 was paid to support Whitcom for access to the Idaho State Police for ILETS functions.
The partnership with Whitcom has provided the community of Moscow and the University of Idaho with advanced support in many technical fields. Whitcom employs a mapping system which provides dispatchers with overhead pictures of the address in question. They also use a geographical information system (GIS) on Moscow in conjunction with the local cellular telephone companies for locating cell phone calls. All cellular vendors are Phase II compliant which gives a dispatcher the ability to pinpoint a 911 cell phone call within a 300 foot perimeter of the location of the cell phone. During 2008, one Mobile Data Terminal for wireless data connection was placed into operation by funds made available through Whitcom. The department is seeking additional funding to install Mobile Data Terminals in all patrol cars.
A City staff representative meets once a month with the Whitcom Executive Board to keep a voice in dispatching matters and makes recommendations for improvements. City Supervisor Gary Riedner is the City of Moscow ex-official board member and works closely with other executive board members.