Opinion: Consolidating Dispatch Is Wrong for Fair Lawn

Fair Lawn Dispatcher Joe Cecere and Fair Lawn Policemen's Benevolent Association President David Boone share their thoughts on proposals to outsource Fair Lawn's dispatch center to the county

Editor's note: On Feb. 20, the Record ran a story about the county's push to consolidate 911 dispatch services under one roof at the Public Safety Operation Center in Mahwah -- something Fair Lawn's council discussed doing last year. Compelled by the recent Record article, the president of Fair Lawn's International Association of Firefighters -- which represents the dispatchers -- and the president of Fair Lawn's Policemen's Benevolent Association have co-authored a response:

In response to the recent article "County to bring 911 service under one roof", The Record, February 20, 2012, I felt compelled to address some reasons why consolidating dispatch services would not be beneficial in a borough the size of Fair Lawn, with a population of over 31,000 people.

’s Communications Division properly and promptly answered over 11,400 9-1-1 calls as well as over 150,000 phone calls for service in 2011.

Fair Lawn uses unique addressing in which a majority of properties have "dashed" addresses and people who call for help reference the section of town that they are in. Having someone who is not familiar with the borough handle emergency calls could have tragic consequences and potentially delay emergency responses. Having a local dispatcher familiar with the intricacies of the town will save valuable time in an emergency and sustain the safety of all personnel at an emergency incident. A local dispatcher knows the streets, people, and problems and is a familiar voice to someone in their time of need.

Located next to Paterson, this past year the Borough has seen an increase in bank robberies, burglaries, assaults and car thefts.

For an emergency call originating in Fair Lawn to be transferred over 11 miles to Mahwah and then back to Fair Lawn could be a catastrophic waste of time, and seconds count when it comes to saving lives.

Joe Cecere
Dispatcher, Fair Lawn Police Department
President, IAFF Local 4840


David Boone, President, Fair Lawn PBA #67

Tommy P March 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I think you may have missed my point. First we have the 31 most expensive school districts in the nation, we call Hoboken and the other 30, the "Abbott Districts". Think about it for a second, our worst schools are more expensive then Washington DC, New York City, Los Angles, Chicago or any other district in the US. The US happens to spend more than any other nation on education. So its likely we have the 31 most expensive school districts in the world! All here in NJ! They are an invention of activist court which has exceeded its authority and our legislature and Governor have not done anything about it. Our coward council and BoE won't even pass a resolution calling for an end to Abbott. The second point I made is monopolies stifle innovation and costs. The lack of Parental Choice, coupled with automatic deduction of dues from teachers which winds up in large part in the Democrat Party's campaign funds compound the problem.
FLResident March 02, 2012 at 09:00 PM
No, I didn't miss the point...you said we need less consolidation and I said I disagreed and that we need more. I don't understand how having 600 school districts makes any sense whatsoever for the size & population of the state. NJ residents are always quick to complain about our taxes and what's wrong with this state but are afraid and reluctant to any kind of changes that will offer benefits.
Tommy P March 02, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Increasing the size of an institution does not make it more efficient, often its the exact opposite. The most populous districts are much more expensive then the smallest districts. The larger districts have more layers of management per pupil and the folks at the top of larger district make more then smaller districts on average. If we undid the Abbott districts and change the allocation of the money the state collects to be distributed by student instead, Fair Lawn would see an additional $32,000,000+ in school aide. That would reduce the property tax burden of the school levy by 37%. Every tax bill in town would go down by THOUSAND$! If we instituted Parental Choice and allowed government and private schools to compete for those monies, the savings would be even higher. I would guess your not a fan of government cheese, but are you a fan of a government education?
Bruce Knuckle March 03, 2012 at 02:12 AM
FL1985, go post in your hometown
delgado March 04, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Fair Lawn Barrata is the Bergen Deputy Chief of Staff and Fair Lawn Counciman Trweinski is the Bergen County Adminstrator!!! Republicans pledged to end double dipping and conflicts, and now we as expected have a big conflict with the Fair Lawn elected officalls opposing their bosses!!! The must quit the position. and disband the County Police. Bergen Republicans are out of control and wasting tons of taxes.


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