COPY-Duncan threatens to pull out of Stephens County emergency response alliance

Duncan_The Stephens County Communications Center is the hub of emergency services for the area. They coordinate police, fire and ambulance services for the entire county and they have had many changes in the last few weeks.  Their director resigned and the city of Duncan voted to withdraw from the trust.  Duncan didn't make its decision to leave lightly.

"The reason that they initially decided to pull out of the trust was because of officer safety problems and, from the Duncan police department, complaints from officers themselves about the dispatching," Duncan Police Patrol Captain Rick Lang said.

Lang says there is no training for dispatchers at the state level in Oklahoma and he says there needs to be.  So, the city council voted to leave the trust and do their own dispatching.  But now, they may be reconsidering. "At this time, as far as I have been told, the City of Duncan has no intention of pulling out anytime in the next few weeks," Captain Lang said.

Members of the Stephens County Public Safety Communications Authority want to keep the alliance together.

Founding member and Stephens County Sheriff Jimmie Bruner wants to make it work.

"We hope that we can rectify any problems or any concerns that they have and that's what the board is trying to do," Sheriff Bruner said.

The trust and the City of Duncan are working together to create a solution.

"Right now, we want to get a three week academy started as soon as possible so that we can give the dispatchers the training and the opportunities that they need," Captain Lang said.

They believe this will get the center back on the right track and keep the City of Duncan and the trust on the same page.

"We are in public service.  We are not in a boxing match,"  Sheriff Bruner said.

The Trust and the City of Duncan say that no matter what happens, emergency services will not be disrupted.  Everyone receiving service will continue to do so.  The trust plans to hold a meeting this week to get some final decisions made. If you would like to attend the meeting, it will be at the Stephens County courthouse in Duncan, Wednesday, the 18th at 2:00.

It's open to the public.