Dispatch center director appointed

The members of the Westfield Police Commission gathered in special session at City Hall last night and appointed the first director of the city’s newly created Public Safety Communications Center.
The new department will come into being at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 and will consolidate dispatching for police, fire and medical emergencies.
The dispatch center will take over emergency dispatching currently handled separately by the police and fire departments and facilitate compliance with a state mandate which will take effect on July 1.
Until the new department which will manage the dispatch center becomes operational, funds for start-up costs including personnel have been allocated to the police department, so that commission has hired staff for the department and, at their meeting yesterday, unanimously endorsed the selection of John W. Medley as the director of the dispatch center.
Police Chief John Camerota explained at the meeting that a committee comprised of himself, Fire Chief Mary Regan, Lenore J. Bernashe, city’s information technology manager, the city’s assistant personal director Jeffrey R. Krok and Melissa Nazzaro, the director of Springfield’s Emergency 911 Dispatch Center, interviewed candidates for the position of director of the communications center and selected Medley.
He said “It was a unanimous decision (of the committee) to appoint John as the new director” and said “as a formality we need this commission to support that.” He went on to say “I highly recommend John for the job and I’m asking you to support that”
Medley, a resident of Vernon, Conn., said that he is a native of Orange County, N.Y., and is currently working as a supervisor in the emergency dispatch center in Bridgeport, Conn., where he deals with ten person shifts answering all the 911 calls in the biggest city in Connecticut.
He said that he earned a bachelor’s degree in management information service at State University of New York at Oswego and went on to earn a master’s degree in emergency health service at the University of Maryland.
He told the commission he worked as an EMT early in his career but said in the late 1990s he started working in emergency communications and said “since 1997 I’ve been in communications ever since.”
He said that he gained experience working in East Hartford before the position opened in Bridgeport.
He acknowledged that he does not yet know the Westfield area but said that it just takes a little time to learn the area. “Give me a map and in a few days, in a few weeks I’ll be good to go.”
Police Commission Chairman Karl Hupfer said that he was “quite impressed” by Medley’s letter of application and, when the commission voted, Medley’s appointment was unanimous.
Medley’s appointment is expected to be presented to the City Council at their June 7 meeting and referred to the Personnel Action Committee of the Council for consideration. The committee is expected to make a recommendation to the full Council at their next meeting, before the start of operations at the new dispatch center June 27.

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