Desert Hot Springs Police Department is gearing up to open a brand new dispatch center – the first addition to its expanded public safety campus.
DHSPD Communications Manager June Casey gave News Channel 3 an exclusive first look inside the center, calling it a critical communication hub that will streamline the community's public safety.
For the last 15 years, Desert Hot Springs has relied on Cathedral City for its dispatch services. "It's been a long time coming," Casey said.
The dispatch center will house up to six dispatchers who can monitor state of the art technology, including surveillance cameras from around the city, while feeding officers real time information.
"We are monitoring the city hall, the city yard and our own police department so we're able to see if things are going on," Casey said.
Desert Hot Springs will become the first agency in California to go live with a cloud-based 911 system, replacing physical phone lines with virtual ones. "If something happens to our center, we can easily route those to another agency," Casey said.
The center cost the city about $1.7 million, paid for from the general fund. In February, city council approved a more than $100,000 budget increase to the project for one of its technology contracts. City leaders at the time expressed concerns about the added costs.
"I'm gonna I'm gonna vote for this, because I know we need it," said Councilmember Russell Betts. "But this is a third as much. From 200,000 to 300,000? That's a huge change."
The new dispatch center marks an important moment for the city as it separates from Cathedral City's dispatch and continues the police department's independence.
"The city is absolutely growing tremendously," Casey said. "It is extremely exciting to be able to provide the service that the community deserves."
The dispatch center officially opens Monday with a family friendly open house event for the community rom 5 to 8 p.m.
Meantime, Desert Hot Springs is continuing to expand its public safety campus. The next phase will include a new fire department building and a regional police training center, which are expected to be built in the next two years.