A five-year agreement has been ratified for the Niagara County Sheriff's Office to maintain a separate police radio channel and separate dispatching staff for North Tonawanda.
The city will pay all but $50,000, which is the county share of the average annual cost of the new channel and seven new dispatchers. They are expected to come online by Jan. 1. The full-year cost starts at $296,000 and rises to $343,000 by 2021.
Sheriff James R. Voutour predicted after a July 20 news conference announcing the deal that placing North Tonawanda on its own dispatch channel would not improve response times or radio coverage, but the city's police union contended that response times were sometimes slow because of the city sharing a channel with the Sheriff's Office and town police agencies.