Eastside communities are joining together to form a regional emergency dispatch center that will speedily route police and fire calls for a population of 650,000 sprawled across 1,200 square miles.
Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Dave Reichert won critical funding for the establishment of the North East King County Regional Public Safety Communications Agency, better known as "NORCOM."
On Tuesday, Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert joined Eastside mayors, police and fire chiefs at Bellevue City Hall to celebrate NORCOM.
For some time, fire and emergency calls have been routed regionally through the Eastside Regional Communications Center in Bellevue. Police calls for cities including Bellevue, Bothell, Clyde Hill, Issaquah, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island and Redmond will now be regionally dispatched too through NORCOM, which will absorb the Eastside Regional Comm Center.
"NORCOM will enhance the ability for police and fire agencies to communicate with each other and therefore better respond to public safety emergencies," Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger noted before a crowd thick with uniforms in City Hall's sunny concourse.
Senator Murray, who secured more than $1.7 million in federal funding for Norcom, praised local officials for forming NORCOM.
Congressman Reichert, citing challenges with a poor dispatch system early on in his career as a King County Sheriff's deputy, said NORCOM will make Eastside residents safer.
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