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Monday, May 14, 2012

Lisbon Lawman's Legacy: His Way Or The Highway


On May 1, 2012 David T. Brooks presented his own feelings about the future of the Lisbon Communications Center. The entire presentation dealt with what Brooks wanted the councilors to know. But there were several simple facts which came out of this discussion.

  1. Brooks has been working on this proposal for eight years. In this eight year period, Brooks never gave any thought to what would happen if the Lisbon Communications Center were to be shut down. Instead of considering all aspects of the situation and coming up with a contingency plan for each scenario; he chooses to ignore the possibility of anyone not approving his proposal. This was very apparent by Brooks' continual repeating there is “NO PLAN”

     There is no plan because Brooks has never considered anything else. It is the Chief of Police’s responsibility to provide a contingency plan for each phase of his operation not the County Commissioners.

  2. The most simplistic action of all communications was not addressed by Brooks. The utilization of cell phones to communicate between Lisbon Departments was never considered by Brooks. 

  3. Utilizing “thumb drives” to update IMC, prepare logs or record data was never considered.

  4. Utilizing Duty Officers and Sergeants to check IMC, NCIC and checks and interstate inquiries were never considered. 

  5. The first responder on the scene could assess the situation and utilizing a preloaded cell phone call for any additional assistance.

  6. The bus driver who is busing our children to away events could utilize a cell phone to communicate any situation as necessary.

I commend Councilor Gina Mason for seeing right though Brooks' presentation. Councilor Mason asked how come the town could not utilize cell phones as a means of communications since we already are paying for them. Councilor Mason asked Chief Brooks numerous questions he was not prepared to answer. Councilor Mason had the courage to ask why he has not looked at alternative solutions.

It would appear that, it is Brooks’ way or the highway because Brooks has no contingency plans in place for any of the different aspects of the Police Department.  So for the past eight years, he is only concerned with what is best for Brooks and not this community. The dispatch situation affects all of the citizens of Lisbon because it deals with the response time in an emergency. In an emergency every second counts in determining life or death. The country has instituted a program called 911 in order to expedite the process in hopes of saving lives. 

 Our County Commissioners are trying to do the same by consolidating all the communications centers and eliminating redundancy within the process. A 911 emergency phone call goes to either Lewiston/Auburn 911 if received by land line or to the Maine State Police Barracks in Gray if received by cell phone. These calls are then relayed to the Lisbon Communications Center to dispatch Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS). 

No 911 calls come DIRECTLY to the Lisbon Communication Center. Let me repeat that: No 911 calls come DIRECTLY to the Lisbon Communications Center. 
The County Commissioners are trying to improve this process by eliminating the middle step. By dispatching Police, Fire and EMS from the point the call is received will eliminate having to call the Lisbon Communications Center and speed up the response time. In an emergency, time is critical and every minute/second can make the difference between life or death. Streamlining the process and saving lives should be the number one priority of everyone.

Why would you NOT want to speed up the process in an attempt to save as many lives as possible?

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

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