IXP Corporation, a Forrestal Village-based public safety consulting company that operates 911 call centers, is expanding on two fronts: by acquiring another company in the same field, and by signing a contract to provide emergency call services to the town of Princeton.

Princeton’s council voted unanimously on November 13 to give IXP a two-year, $864,840 a year contract to run the town’s 9-1-1 dispatch center, which employs 10 and is supervised by a police lieutenant. Of the 10 nominal employees, five positions are vacant.

According to a memorandum sent to the Prince­ton council by Princeton administrator Marc D. Dash­ield, the call center currently costs $1.2 million a year to operate, and the town will save $1.7 million over the next five years by outsourcing. IXP was the only bidder. The current dispatchers will be laid off but will be given the opportunity to be re-hired by IXP.

IXP manages call centers for four towns in Georgia; Danbury, Connecticut; Boston’s transit system; East Windsor, Lawrence, and Hightstown, as well as several private security companies. It has held the Lawrence contract since 2013, when it became the first town in New Jersey to privatize its 9-1-1 dispatch center (U.S. 1, October 14, 2015).

In Princeton the Teamsters union, which represents the call center employees, made a counter-offer that would have kept the current staff on board with a cost of $8,899 over the IXP proposal. Dashield said the union’s estimates of benefit costs were off, and that IXP’s offer would actually save $477,921 compared to the union proposal over five years.

But the cost savings do not come without some disadvantages. Dashield noted that if IXP hires inexperienced dispatchers, they will be unfamiliar with the area and have a “learning curve” as they are trained, and that the township will no longer control management decisions over the privatized center. The switch will also harm employees who are laid off during the switch, even if they are ultimately hired back. The current dispatchers are familiar with the area they cover and have relationships with the police, fire, and EMS personnel they work with, and three of them have more than 25 years of experience.

IXP is also expanding beyond the Route 1 corridor by purchasing the managed services and consulting businesses of the Safir companies, a New York-based group of public safety consulting companies owned by the former New York City Police and Fire Commissioner Howard Safir. The businesses include Vigilant Analytics & Safir Intelligence and Security / Vigilant Resources International. IXP has also made Adam Safir, Howard Safir’s son, senior vice president of corporate development.

As part of the agreement, IXP acquired several contracts that deliver analytical managed services, staff augmentation, and intelligence-led policing programs to clients around the country. IXP will integrate the Safir companies’ existing sales and delivery teams into its operations.

Howard Safir, who once played himself on “NYPD Blue,” was also formerly associate director of operations for the U.S. Marshals Service, and assistant director for the Drug Enforcement Administration. His son is former CEO for Safir Intelligence and Security, and COO for SafirRosetti.

“IXP shares a similar vision with the Safir Companies, which is to change the paradigms associated with how public safety services are provided to communities by offering innovative, practical and affordable managed services and solutions to our clients,” said IXP CEO William Metro. “We view this transaction as an exciting opportunity not only for IXP, but for our clients, partners, employees, the communities we serve and our shareholders. We are excited to partner with the Safir Companies.”

“This deal presents valuable opportunities for our customers. IXP’s expertise and innovative business model align with our long-term practice of delivering superior results and value to, with and for diverse jurisdictions and organizations,” Adam Safir said.

Howard Safir emphasized the importance of emergency call centers. “911 is a critical point of first contact for public safety,” he said. “IXP has the skills and resources to ensure that those valuable seconds and minutes lead to the most effective response possible.”

IXP Corp., 103 Main Street, Princeton Forrestal Village, Suite 100, Princeton 08540. 609-409-7272. William E. Metro, CEO. www.ixpcorp.com.

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