The Healdton Police Department is poised for a new 911 dispatch service as the city breaks away from the Carter County Sheriff’s Department and switches to the Lone Grove Police Department.
The move, which also includes housing inmates, comes at a time when Healdton is looking to save money. City officials also hope that by choosing a dispatch that is closer, service will improve.
“The most important thing is the cost that will be saved,” Healdton Police Chief Johnny Turner said. “We’re concerned about possible kinks, but we are all determined for it to be successful.”
The city of Lone Grove approved a motion at a council meeting early last week agreeing to take on Healdton’s inmates and taking over its 911 dispatch duties. Healdton will finalize the agreement at its next council meeting.
Healdton will pay Lone Grove $30,000 a year for the services, which is significantly less than the $4,500 a month that Carter County needed to continue housing Healdton’s inmates — a $1,250 increase over last year.
Previously, the city contracted with Carter County to lock up those who were arrested on city warrants and now those people will be housed in the Lone Grove jail. Anyone arrested on a felony charge  will still have to be locked up at Carter County.
Turner hopes the savings from the overall cost will allow the city to spend money on other things.
“Lone Grove is closer and cheaper for us,” Turner said. “We’re hoping our radios will work a lot better because it was hard to reach the Carter County repeater which was 40 miles outside of Healdton.”
Turner said the city has experienced trouble with their radios in the past, and hope the transition will help smooth out the radio communication. He said often the radios would cut out when trying to communicate with dispatch, at Carter County because the repeater was too far from the city.
The transition is set to take place Aug. 1.
“We already dispatch and house inmates for the city of Wilson,” Lone Grove City Manager Ian O’Neil said. “We’re excited to take on the city of Healdton.”
Turner said the emergency phone number — (580)229-1212 — will remain the same through the transition.