UPDATE: James City County — The James City County (JCC) Board of Supervisors met Tuesday, June 13, and finalized the Joint Exercise Agreement between JCC and York County (YC) to consolidate the two emergency dispatch centers in each region with no discussion.
YORKTOWN — The York County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the execution of a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement by and between James City County and York County and the Cities of Williamsburg and Poquoson to operate a Regional Emergency Communications Center Tuesday, June 7.
During the June meeting, York County Emergency Communications Director Terry Hall addressed the board’s concerns and questions regarding the merger.
“James City County has been suffering a critical staffing shortage for years,” Hall continued, “This is an epidemic in all 911 centers. Not only here but across Hampton Roads. It is public safety driven.”
A February 2023 electrical fire in the James City County emergency call center is another cause for the consolidation as the counties have been working out of the same facility since the incident.
Hall presented the benefits of a regional radio and 911 system in favor of the merger and stressed that the Automatic Mutual Aid program that currently serves York County, Williamsburg and Poquoson works “flawlessly” and would continue to do so when all of JCC emergency systems are added.
Improved efficiency, decreased response time, optimized staffing and improved coordination and communication between first responders as well as cost savings were cited as positive factors to the consolidation by Hall.
Just before the vote, Neil Morgan, York County County Administrator stated, “Future growth of cost will be less because of the consolidation. The reason this works for both parties is because JCC has an approved budget with all of the personnel for a 911 center. They will provide ongoing funding for 23 position … they still come out ahead because as long as that is less than their total budgeted amount for 911, it’s a win for them.”
The current JCC emergency dispatch center in Toano will remain as a backup facility for the joint center.
JCC Board of Supervisors will meet on Tuesday, June 13 for final approval of the joint agreement. The final consolidation is expected to be effective this July.
Read more about the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement presentation at the James City County April Board of Supervisors Meeting here.