Franklin County commissioners on Wednesday morning approved the interlocal agreement dealing with regionalization of emergency communications in the Tri-Cities that's been making the rounds of local governments.
The action means a consultant soon will be hired to create a plan for forming a regional system. Benton County and the cities of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick already have signed off on the pact.
The agreement doesn't guarantee regionalization will happen; a final decision will come once the plan lays out details.
Today, Benton and Franklin counties have separate dispatch centers, and law enforcement in the two counties use different radio networks, which can lead to communication issues.
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The idea of regionalizing the systems has been on the table for a while. One study found it could improve service and cut costs.