CAPE MAY – Cape May’s decision whether to move to Cape May County central dispatch was made for it by a bolt of lightning.
A direct lightning strike hit Cape May City Hall, at 5:30 p.m. July 20. According to City Manager Mike Voll, the strike fried all the equipment in the police department’s dispatch unit.
Police kept 911 operational by switching to a more antiquated radio system. Voll said the damaged equipment is beyond repair.
“We lost thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment,” he said.
By July 21, dispatch switched to the county system, located at the Cape May County Airport, in Erma.
Voll said Cape May County’s Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Martin Pagliughi worked with the city to make the transition, which usually takes weeks, happen quickly. Three city dispatchers are working out of the county facility and will eventually become county employees.
“They will not lose anything in terms of pay or benefits,” Voll added.
It is expected that Cape May City Council will officially endorse the switch at an upcoming meeting.
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