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Associated Press, Published October 06 2009

Area sheriffs question Minnesota State Patrol's plan to consolidate call centers

MOORHEAD - A plan to consolidate 911 emergency call centers across the state is drawing fire in northwestern Minnesota.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist says closing the State Patrol's Detroit Lakes dispatch center would be a mistake. He questions whether someone answering calls in Duluth would know his area well enough.

The plan is part of an executive order signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. It would shift dispatching responsibilities to Duluth, Rochester and Roseville. The center in Thief River Falls would also close.

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon says he's concerned there won't be enough dispatchers on duty to handle all the calls, and he's concerned for the safety of officers.

The ``next generation' 911 system is probably two years away.

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