PRINCETON, NJ — A private company will operate Princeton’s police dispatch center, which handles 911 calls in town, officials said Thursday.
The town council last month awarded IXP, a Plainsboro-based company that has contracts with East Windsor, Hightstown and Lawrence for similar services, a two-year contract for $864,840 annually, with an option for a third year.
The contract starts this month, IXP announced Thursday, but the company will not be operational in the police dispatch center until February.
Current dispatchers would be given layoff notices closer to IXP’s operational takeover, Princeton Administrator Marc D. Dashield said. The dispatch center is budgeted for 10 positions, and the town currently employs six.
Dashield said the employees, who are represented by the Teamsters union, have known about this move for about a year and the town is working with their bargaining agents.
The current Princeton dispatch employees will be encouraged to apply for positions with IXP, Lawrence Consalvos, IXP’s chief operations said Thursday. “We would certainly encourage that,” he said.
IXP says in addition to staffing for the dispatch center, with about a dozen employees, they’ll run the technological support.
The company touts their services as an efficient and long-term cost savings for the town. Their service “minimizes” involvement by sworn police officers, allowing them to get back to police work.
“We not only make it easier for municipalities to achieve or maintain their law enforcement accreditation and professional excellence, we also deliver dispatch services that exceed industry standards at significantly reduced recurring operating costs,” IXP CEO William Metro said in an announcement.
Metro and Consalvos said contracting with Princeton is exciting for their company because of the former borough and township consolidation into one Princeton in 2013. “They’re like the bellwether with their progressive services,” Consalvos said.
Although only contracted for three years, IXP said in an announcement that the contract can be extended with Princeton for five years, which the company projects will save the town $1.7 million in such a span.
IXP’s contract to run Lawrence’s police’s dispatch center in early 2013 was the first time a town in New Jersey privatized their 911 communications center. IXP also has contracts in Georgia, Connecticut and Massachusetts.