The new Dispatchers Union Group within the Haverhill Police Department recently inked its first contract with the city as civilians replace officers on telephones.
There are currently 10 civilian dispatchers working with two more on the way to fill the dozen positions. The contract includes pay increases over three years to make the pay competitive with other public safety dispatchers in the region. Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s called the hiring the “most recent milestone in the decade-long effort to civilianize Haverhill’s 911 operation with the goal of putting more police officers on the street.”
“The addition of civilian dispatchers in our budget by Mayor Fiorentini has allowed the Haverhill Police Department to better utilize our police officers by taking them out of dispatch and putting them on the streets in patrol,” Police Chief Robert P. Pistone said. “Since the inception of civilian dispatchers 11 years ago, Lt. John Barbieri has built a professional Civilian Dispatcher Division by recruiting, hiring and training the best available personnel.”
Mayor Fiorentini noted that a dispatcher is usually the first person the public interacts with when they call 911 in an emergency or for non-emergency police assistance.
The mayor said he supported the dispatchers’ effort to organize because the city was losing dispatchers.