Beginning July 1, Matthews Police dispatchers also could start servicing Mint Hill Police officers.
Matthews town commissioners voted last week to allow Matthews Town Manager Hazen Blodgett to negotiate a contract with the Town of Mint Hill. The Pineville Police Department currently provides police dispatching service for Mint Hill officers, but Matthews provided dispatching for the town when the Mint Hill department began in July 2003 through December 2006, according to a memo from Matthews Police Chief Rob Hunter.
The one-year contract would cost Mint Hill a flat fee of $113,130 plus about an additional $12,000 for “associated software licensing and upgrades that are required as part of the contract,” Matthews spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller said. Mint Hill currently pays Pineville about $75,000 a year, and that amount was set to increase during the next fiscal year, Mint Hill Police Chief Tim Ledford said.
The switch is necessary, Ledford said, because Mint Hill officers can’t communicate with Matthews officers easily using the current system and there are also lapses in coverage at the town’s apartment complexes off Margaret Wallace Road when patrol officers are outside using their portable radios.
“Under Mint Hill’s current contract, their police department operates on a different radio communications system than that used by our department, which makes mutual communications and a continuous knowledge of activities in our respective communities virtually impossible,” Hunter, of Matthews, wrote in his memo. “Our departments do participate in joint operational functions, such as a joint Special Operations Team and impaired driving safety checkpoints. Returning to a contract for police dispatching will serve to support these services as well as make it more practical and efficient for our respective officers to assist one another.”