County’s 911 dispatch centers are poised for ‘historic’ merger

Combining SNOPAC and SNOCOM will obviate the need to transfer 50,000 calls per year.

EVERETT — Snohomish County’s two regional 911 centers are set to merge.

The boards of SNOPAC in Everett and SNOCOM in Mountlake Terrace voted unanimously Thursday morning. The move is intended to save money and reduce the delays associated with transferring 911 calls.

The transfers between SNOPAC and SNOCOM — about 50,000 a year — result in 911 callers being put on hold. That happened last year after the mass shooting in Mukilteo.

The merger vote marked “a historic day for this county,” Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan said.

Thursday’s meeting was attended by police and fire leaders, mayors and City Council members from around the county. The merger talks have lasted about two years and at times stumbled on questions about the distribution of power among south county’s smallest cities.

Sheriff Ty Trenary on Thursday said he initially thought everyone would never come to an agreement. His deputies police the unincorporated areas between Everett and Lynnwood, where the transfers are most common.

“I have a ton of people I’m responsible for,” Trenary said. “They get delayed in calling 911 every day.”

Earlier critics who voted in support Thursday included Brier Mayor Bob Colinas and David Chan, a commissioner for South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.

“Change is hard,” Lynnwood City Councilman George Hurst said.

County Executive Dave Somers also issued a statement of congratulations.

In addition to managing 911, SNOPAC and SNOCOM dispatch for about 50 police and fire departments. Those services cost about $20 million of public money annually. Consolidation is supposed to save at least $1 million a year.

Several folks on Thursday said the group has to hold themselves accountable to make that happen.

“Don’t let me down now,” said Colinas, the Brier mayor.

The new organization, Snohomish County 911, will be led by a board with 15 voting members. The merger date is set for Jan. 1, but combining all the resources will take longer, officials said. SNOCOM is expected to move into the SNOPAC building on Everett Mall Way sometime next year.

The old SNOCOM building is planned to become a back-up 911 center in case of disaster.

The dispatch centers agreed not to lay off employees as part of the merger, according to a press release. Staffing will be reduced through attrition.

“It’s pretty cool how north and south county can actually work together …” Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith said. “We better show better service and we better save money.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;; Twitter: @rikkiking.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Trapped: A ‘murder hornet’ is captured near Canadian border

The state now plans to search for nests using infrared cameras and to place additional traps.

Despite drownings, TikTok fame draws hordes to Eagle Falls

The swimming hole in east Snohomish County has been cramped with people — and bad parkers along U.S. 2.

Missing Maple Valley woman found alive near Index

She was in stable condition after bloodhounds found her about 1.2 miles south off U.S. 2.

Boy, 16, dies in rollover crash on I-5 near Silvana

Three others were injured. The driver reportedly over corrected, causing the vehicle to roll over.

Arlington PD gets big gift; Everett Elks assist fire safety

Cascade High School junior top-10 nationally at Computer Problem Solving Max White,… Continue reading

School levies in front of Lakewood, Darrington voters again

After setbacks in February, both districts trimmed their proposals in pursuit of success Tuesday.

Still want to vote in the primary? You have until Tuesday

State law allows registering and voting on same day. There are three places in the county to do so.

Former Arlington Christian teacher charged with voyeurism

Prosecutors allege Stephen Brown had hundreds of photos and videos of students and faculty.

Most Read