To the Honorable Town Council,
I have spoken many times over the years of our need to keep the LGMSPD as our police department. Los Gatos needs to have a local and knowledgeable police department; it is critical for our businesses and residents.
Allowing the community to get to know our officers, and allowing the officers to get to know the community and the needs for each different neighborhood and business district makes it easier for both officers and the public.
Our dispatchers are an integral part of our local police department. I am writing to you to support the increase in the hourly pay for per diem dispatchers. Additionally, I strongly encourage an increase in salary for the existing dispatchers and a robust hiring plan to get the staffing levels back to a level that is safe for the town and fair for our dispatch personnel.
I understand the dispatch center is currently "manned" by 3 people. These 3 people are working the dispatch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are budgeted for 8 full time dispatchers. To believe we can continue with 3 dispatch personnel is absurd. We need to be very proactive on a hiring drive and offer a salary that is on par with the area to attract the best dispatchers for Los Gatos.
There has been a great deal of cost savings in the budget given the town has been operating a dispatch center with less than half the number of personnel. We’d like the town to redeploy those existing funds to properly compensate dispatchers, so we are competitive with surrounding areas.
The dispatch center provides a valuable lifeline to our police for the community. They should be properly staffed and well compensated.