KINGSTON — This municipality ended its emergency dispatching services in August 2010, but that has not stopped some residents from mistakenly calling the police department seeking aid rather than the county-operated 911 system.
Sgt. Michael Krzywicki urges residents of the West Side community who encounter an emergency to call Luzerne County 911.
The police department receives six or more direct calls a day for a variety of emergencies, he estimated, with some callers leaving the information on voice mail.
“Some of the calls are for service, and when they directly call our department, there is a three-to-four-minute delay in response,” Krzywicki said. “Residents need to call 911, which dispatches our department and fire.”
For example, said Krzywicki, one woman recently called the department and left a voice mail message about a suspicious person riding a bicycle and trying to open car doors. By the time police received the message, the bandit bicyclist was long gone. If the woman had called 911 directly, he said, an officer would have immediately been dispatched to the street, significantly increasing the odds the culprit would have been captured.
Also, due to a recent rash of car break-ins, Krzywicki urged residents to remove valuable items from their vehicles and to lock them.
Kingston was the last municipality in Luzerne County to have its own emergency dispatching services, which ended nearly three years ago when Luzerne County 911 took over on Sept. 1, 2010.
The demand for state-mandated training and technical standards, including having two certified dispatchers on-duty at all times, prompted Kingston to turn over dispatching to the county.