University considers contracting out for police dispatching

The university is exploring the possibility of contracting out for police dispatching on campus, possibly to an outside agency, Sonoma State University officials have confirmed.

The proposal has drawn sharp criticism from the California State University Employees Union. According to Gina Voight, president of Sonoma State chapter of the union, removal of the university’s dispatchers would jeopardize the health and safety of students, faculty and staff in relation to prompt responses in emergencies. She contends it would also impact the academic mission of the university in a negative way.

“If the work is outsourced out to an agency like the Cotati Police Department, do you believe that your issue will take priority over a drunken fight at the Cotati Crawl?,” Vought said in message sent campuswide. 

Voight said the union planned tofight the proposal “tooth and nail,” for the safety of the students but also to save the jobs of the police dispatchers who, she said, are an integral part of the campus community.

Acting Chief of Police David Dougherty confirmed that the outsourcing of police dispatchers is being considered but no decision has beenmade. He vowed that the safety of the campus would remain a top priority for the university.

Dougherty said the proposal is rooted its consideration in the reorganization of the Administration and Finance Department starting July 1. Part of the reorganization includes reassigning certain non-law enforcement services so that police officers are more available to provide law enforcement.

Dougherty said the process will remain as transparent as possible and they will follow employee regulations as dictated by the union. “ It is still very early in the consideration process, and community members who have not yet had an opportunity to provide input will have the opportunity in the future.”