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Published September 19, 2012, 09:56 PM

Detroit Lakes dispatch center closing after 40 years

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - 911 calls from people with highway emergencies around Detroit Lakes will soon be answered at a dispatch center near the Twin Cities.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - 911 calls from people with highway emergencies around Detroit Lakes will soon be answered at a dispatch center near the Twin Cities.

The Minnesota State Patrol is closing down its Detroit Lakes dispatch center, re-routing all calls to Roseville.

Come January, emergency calls to the state patrol dispatch center in Detroit Lakes will be answered 200 miles away.

Bruce Hentges, MN State Patrol Captain: “It's a change. It's a huge change. There's been a dispatch center in Detroit Lakes for over 40 years.”

The center is one of seven statewide closing shop, with calls going on to Roseville or Rochester.

A consolidation effort to save one million dollars and free up troopers for highway emergencies.

Hentges: “Actually the service should improve, as we'll have more dispatchers available for big events like snow storms and major crashes.”

But the problem, five dispatchers currently on the lines will be out of jobs.

Hentges: “We feel for them. The state patrol is a family.”

But with the state patrol dispatch center shutting down, the Becker County Sheriff's Department hopes its phone lines aren't flooded with calls.

Tim Gordon, Becker County Sheriff: “The only downside is that people prefer that local flavor. With that we may see more calls directed to us.”

Hentges: “We've told them it's not going to change service what so ever.”

But both sides ultimately agreeing on one thing, that with improved technology and teamwork, better service will follow.

Gordon: “You know at this point we have to have faith in their decision as far as why the proceeded this way.”

A last call for safety, despite lines being disconnected.

Calls coming in from 10 PM to 6 AM are already going to Roseville, with the daytime shifts following on January 1st.

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