‘Cheap shots’ by Linwood fire chief not appreciated

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To the editor:

A March 30 article in The Press of Atlantic City concerning the moving of dispatching services by Linwood from Somers Point, and the City of Northfield staying with Egg Harbor Township was very interesting.

Why would any municipality spend its taxpayer money so frivolously without any valid reason?  I would think that a savings of more than $20,000 for Linwood and $45,000 for Northfield would be at the least worth taking a longer and harder look at before making a move.

Joint Linwood and Northfield police Chief Robert James didn’t want to split Northfield from Egg Harbor Township’s dispatch, where they are currently sharing services, but he didn’t seem to have a problem breaking Linwood away from Somers Point, with both those towns paying more by doing it.

With all respect to Chief James, he does not run those towns. I think both councils together could come up with more than 65,000 reasons every year why Somers Point should provide this service.

My bigger concern is why anyone would listen to the comments made by Linwood Fire Chief Kisby. Did he think it was professional of him to take cheap shots about our dispatchers, each and every one of whom is well experienced and certified. He claims they took too long to answer calls, they don't answer calls from himself or his officers, that dispatching is worse than when Linwood had its own, that he’s looking forward to going to Egg Harbor Township.

Linwood officials, including Chief Kisby, never once complained to the City of Somers Point that any problem existed. The reason Linwood disbanded its own service originally was because it was a financial and operational disaster.

Let’s remember, Kisby is the same fire chief  of the same fire department that just two years ago was considered so poorly organized, manned, equipped and trained that the three surrounding communities chose not to use them when they needed mutual aide.  Their department operational costs I believe are almost double that of Somers Point, with far less equipment and a declining membership.

Based on these facts, Chief Kisby shouldn’t be taking cheap shots at Somers Point’s highly qualified and professional dispatch team.

Howard W. Dill

Somers Point

City Council

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