LIVERMORE FALLS – Representatives of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department were on hand Monday night to discuss dispatch services with selectmen and the Budget Committee.

“Six weeks ago, I would have been confident about providing dispatch for Livermore Falls, but today I’m not too sure,” Chief Deputy Guy Desjardins said.

He explained that there is discussion under way about combining the Lewiston/Auburn dispatch with the Sheriff’s Department.

“I’m confident we’re going to be here for the next 12 months, after that I’m not sure. I just don’t know where we’re going to be in 13 months,” he said.

When asked if the Sheriff’s Department could handle the volume of calls from here, Capt. Ray LaFrance admitted he had some concerns. “We’re going to give you the best service we can,” he stressed.

He added that police dispatch would be available free of charge, but there would be some cost as the town would be responsible for providing additional equipment needed at the Sheriff’s Department, estimated at $5,000 to $6,000.

“I have some real concerns about dispatching for Livermore Falls 24-7. You’re a bigger community than what we’ve served before,” LaFrance said.

“I don’t want to say that we can come in and do it, and everything’s going to be fine. We’re in Auburn, 30 miles away, we’re not going to know where your streets are,” he admitted.

“We could help, but I’d be real nervous about 24-7. I would be more comfortable doing part time at low-volume times,” LaFrance added.

The Sheriff’s Department now dispatches for Sabattus, but only nights and weekends, he explained. They only do police dispatching at no cost. There is a charge for doing fire and rescue dispatching, something the department now does for Turner for $3,500 to $4,000.

If Livermore Falls plans to take the Sheriff’s Department route, it needs to make a decision soon, he said, because Minot, Greene and Mechanic Falls are also seeking county services and capacity is limited.

No decision was made Monday on the police and dispatch budgets presented by Chief Ernest Steward Jr.

Steward said he would like full dispatching, but is willing to cut it back by one shift while retaining full overlap. That would leave the combined budgets at $396,383.

“I recommend this to be the maximum reduction solution,” he said. It allows a working dispatch center with trained staff which could be called upon to man the Emergency Dispatch Center if an emergency arose outside the 16-hour time frame. It allows the town to monitor county services without losing all out trained staff.

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