FREEPORT — Two days after the Freeport Town Council voted to consolidate its emergency dispatch operations with Brunswick, residents filed a petition seeking to repeal the vote.

Town Clerk Beverly Curry said she received the petition around 12:30 p.m. the end of the day more than 30 people had signed it.

Freeport’s town charter requires that registered voters sign the petition at town hall in the presence of Curry or her deputy clerk.

Petition supporters will have until May 27 to gather the 626 signatures needed to send the question to referendum.

“I got phone call after phone call pleading with me to do something,” said Elaine Greene, who filed the petition. “These are people who felt like they were not being heard. I just couldn’t turn my back on them.”

Police Chief Gerald Schofield said the Brunswick Police Department has been handling the town’s 911 calls for about two years, which means that any 911 call made from a phone in Freeport is answered in Brunswick.

Some of those 911 calls, depending upon their nature, must be transferred back to the appropriate Freeport agency.

Under the new arrangement, the Brunswick Police Department will answer all Freeport police, fire, rescue and 911 calls and dispatch the appropriate responders in Freeport. Brunswick’s dispatch center is located in the basement of the town offices on Federal Street.

Schofield said the biggest difference for Freeport residents will be limited hours at the Public Safety Building on Main Street. It will no longer be open around the clock, seven days a week. Instead a clerk will staff the station during daytime hours.

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com