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Duluth to become one of state's three 911 call centers

The Minnesota State Patrol announced to its employees Wednesday and publicly confirmed Thursday that Duluth and Rochester will join Roseville as the patrol's three consolidated 911 call centers in the state -- replacing centers in Thief River Fal...

The Minnesota State Patrol announced to its employees Wednesday and publicly confirmed Thursday that Duluth and Rochester will join Roseville as the patrol's three consolidated 911 call centers in the state -- replacing centers in Thief River Falls, Detroit Lakes, Virginia, Brainerd, Marshall, Mankato and St. Cloud.

That means the six dispatchers working in the Thief River Falls call center will "have to move if we want to keep our jobs," one employee said. Troopers working the highways will remain roughly in their same assignments. "They will work the same," the dispatcher said. "Just that they will be dispatched from 200 miles away."

Employees of the 911 call centers were told the changes will be made by 2013, an employee said.

Lt. Matt Langer of the State Patrol in St. Paul said plans are in the infancy stage.

"Basically, now that the two sites are identified, we can move forward in earnest and find how much it's going to cost to get those two sites up and operational,'' Langer said. "One of the challenges is that we have to try to take care of employees who work in those sites that will eventually close. It's not happening overnight.''

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed an executive order in January charging a work group with developing a comprehensive strategy for regionally based Public Safety Answering Points throughout the state to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of emergency services.

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