On Wednesday, August 1, at approximately 9 a.m., the Decatur Police Department will no longer dispatch calls for service from the police station at 521 N. Third Street, according to an announcement by Chief Ken Ketzler.
All calls to the department's telephone number, 724-3123, will be answered by an electronic operator, and the caller will be asked to hang up and call 911 if it is an emergency or to call 724-5345 for all other calls. The 724-5345 number is the Adams County Sheriff.s Department number, and is answered by the Central Dispatch Center in the basement of the jail.
All dispatches will then come from the Central Dispatch Center.
The main lobby portion of the Third St. police station will be open 24/7 for people coming to the station wishing to make a report. A telephone will be located in the lobby to connect people to the dispatch center at the jail.
The Decatur Police Department will still have officers working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Ketzler stressed.
When somone uses the police station phone and calls the dispatch center, officers will be dispatched back to the station to take reports as usual, if they are not on the station at that time.
The administrative office hours of the city police department will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and may be reached by using 724-8646. Any calls for service coming in on that line will also be referred to 911 or 724-5345. The administrative office will be closed all holidays that City Hall is closed.
The above measures are being implemented to save time for the public, Ketzler said.
All emergency calls have been dispatched from the central dispatch center in the past. By having the dispatchcenter handle all calls for service, it will eliminate a duplication of services. The Adams County Central Dispatch has been using this system for the City of Berne, and the towns of Geneva and Monroe for the past several years, Ketzler noted.
"We expect no loss of services to the public from this change and expect the transition time for the public to go smoothly," the chief concluded.