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Fairfax police to share dispatch services with college district

College of Marin police officials pick the Fairfax Police over the Twin Cities Police Authority, despite the additional cost they'll have to pay.

 

The Fairfax Town Council unanimously backed sharing the Fairfax Police Department's dispatch services with the College of Marin at the Wednesday, June 6 council meeting.

The Marin Community College Police Department has been using the San Anselmo Police Department's dispatch. San Anselmo officials are working toward . The college district, whose contract with San Anselmo ends this month, took the time to evaluate options and has opted for something new. 

"I wish Chief Lemay and the College of Marin the best and we (TCPA) will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition for the college as they move over to Fairfax," Twin Cities Police Chief Todd Cusimano wrote in a statement.

College officials decided between using the TCPA dispatch services (which are already servicing San Anselmo) or using the Fairfax Police dispatch, which would cost the college district an additional $25,000 to set up the new system and merge data. 

Fairfax Police Chief Chris Morin told the council that college officials weren’t interested in being part of the merged and larger entity. "They like the model we have." 

The dispatch sharing is pending approval from the College of Marin Board of Trustees, which will discuss the contract at its June 19 meeting.

Fairfax  spoke strongly in support of sharing services. “It leverages our assets in a good way, brings revenue to us and allows us to keep our 24/7 police operation,” he said, adding that Fairfax is the only Ross Valley police entity with professionals accessible to the public at a police station around the clock. “It’s a great asset to our community and really speaks to our dedication to public service.”

Town Manager Michael Rock told the council that the college has such a low number of emergency calls it will have “very little impact” on the Fairfax PD.

The town gave the college district a reduced rate for the first year so it could cover transition expenses. If the five-year contract moves forward, Fairfax will see a revenue increase of $3,000 the first year and $23,000 each year for the four additional years, according to the June 6 council staff report.

Many on the council agreed this is a kind of consolidation that’s the right fit for Fairfax.

“This is an alternative model for Marin, where we’re getting constantly pushed for consolidation,” Bragman said. 

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