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Rocky Top will handle part of Norris police dispatching

Norris plans to contract with the city of Rocky Top to handle police department emergency call dispatching during evening and night hours, the City Council decided last week.

During the Norris council’s monthly meeting Nov. 9, City Manager Scott Hackler recommended that the city hand over the dispatching duties to Rocky Top from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. daily, at a rate of just under $3 an hour, rather than paying $10 to $12 an hour for full- and part-time dispatchers in Norris.

Rocky Top’s police dispatcher will have a dedicated Norris emergency phone number to answer to dispatch officers to Norris police calls, he said. The arrangement should begin within the next few days, Hackler added.

“We have sent the contract to Rocky Top for their signature, and after that happens, they will take over those duties,” he said.

The contract calls for Rocky Top’s dispatcher to answer Norris police calls for 4,380 hours per year, for $12,500 a year. They will be police calls only, as Anderson County’s 911 service does fire dispatch for Norris, Hackler said.

It will still be Norris police officers being dispatched to the emergencies, he said.

The city has six full-time police officers in the budget, but only five are on the roster now because there is an opening for a patrol officer.

Norris can cancel the contract with Rocky Top on 30 days’ notice.