Lee shuts down local dispatch center in favor of countywide service

LEE — Beginning this week, the town’s emergency calls will be handled by the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Control Dispatch Center.

The switch to countywide dispatch took place at 5 p.m. on Oct. 2, nearly a month ahead of the originally planned start date of Oct. 31. The date was moved up due to the absence of two of the town’s four dispatchers, according to Lee Fire Chief and Ambulance Service Director Ryan Brown.

“It’s based on the fact that we have one dispatcher out on injury, another dispatcher will be attending school for their new career,” Brown told the select board during a Sept. 19 update. “We can’t do it with two dispatchers.”

The Lee Dispatch Center, which also served as a switchboard for some calls coming into town hall, will be closed from here on out.

Residents dialing either 911 or the old general dispatch switchboard number, 243-2100, will now be connected to a member of the Sheriff’s Control Dispatch Center.

“It is just a different person answering the phone,” Police Chief Jeffrey Roosa said of the emergency calls.

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