Mount Clemens— Macomb County’s new emergency operations center will open on schedule in December and under budget, officials said during a media tour Wednesday.
The $13.5 million facility, housed in a renovated structure that was once the county road department building on Groesbeck Highway, will consolidate emergency management and operations, information technology and data, road department traffic operations and the Sheriff’s Office dispatchers.
“We are extremely excited because you are not going to see anything of this kind from any local municipality or county government,” County Executive Mark Hackel said.
The center unites parts of county government to save money, he said.
“We had a separate dispatch, communications center for roads, emergency management, our IT director was located somewhere else,” Hackel said. “We had to consolidate the efforts. ... We are building this with the capabilities of expanding beyond Macomb County government.”
Already, Clinton Township and Sterling Heights have contracted to join the system and Hackel said he expects other municipalities to follow. “So now we are not only consolidating county government but local government as well and saving taxpayers money and providing much better service,” he said.
The center features eight traffic monitoring posts, 24 dispatch posts, three generators, weather mapping, road department cameras, siren alert system, mobile command post and more. It will accommodate 70 current staff and has room to add more.
A 20 foot-by-40 foot video wall that will include 40 monitors accessible to the roads department, sheriff’s dispatch and emergency management is what Hackel calls the center’s “premier feature.”
Dispatchers will be able to call up scenes captured by 70 cameras throughout the county. That number will increase to 360 after cameras are installed at every major intersection.
Many of the services that will be handled at the operations center were affected by a fire in April at the Old Macomb County Building. The blaze caused a disruption of government and information technology services and cut Internet and phone access. The county didn’t have a back-up server.
Data on the computers housed in the building were migrated to Oakland’s County’s IT building in Pontiac. The data was then moved to Macomb Community College until the new communications center is completed by the end of the year.
The facility’s new data center has a high-tech fire suppression system, county officials said.
Sandy Jurek, the county chief information officer, said the system at Macomb Community College will serve as a back-up. Data is replicated every nanosecond of the day, she said.
“We will be the first county government to a have an Active Replication system in a data center in the state,” Jurek said. “This is the kind of stuff that most high-tech private sector corporations have.”