911 dispatch service soon to convert from city to county

The ongoing effort to consolidate 911 dispatch services with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office could come to fruition in the next couple of months, according to Zephyrhills Police Chief Derek Brewer in an update to members of City Council this week.

Dispatch services in the city are handled by the Zephyrhills Police Department dispatchers. Brewer confirmed to members of council that when the consolidation is final, current dispatchers will retain employment.

Pasco Sheriff’s Office Joint Operations Captain Justin Ross provided additional information to members of city council and reported that the PSO is “excited” to have Zephyrhills come on board. Dade City has been on the consolidated system for several years while New Port Richey will join soon and Port Richey will not be far behind making the consolidation county-wide.

“As it stands from a city perspective, you’re ready,” Ross said, citing there are details on the county end that need to be worked out before the transition is complete.

This was good news to hear for the elected officials.

“I’m very excited,” said Councilman Charlie Proctor. “It will benefit our officers and our citizens.”

Ross said with Dade City on the system, deputies can hear the calls and provide back up if needed, while Dade City officers can also hear the county calls and give assistance.

Ross also assured members of council that this is not the first step toward the sheriff’s office taking over the law enforcement of the city.

“That couldn’t be any further from the truth,” Ross said. “We want to make sure that is clear. From the Sheriff’s mouth to my ears, that is not what we want. It is not our intent to take over. We want to work with the cities. We want to build a great relationship with the city.”

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