By L.P. Phillips

WATAUGA (KRLD) — When you call 911 for emergency help in Watauga, you’re speaking with the Watauga Police Department — right? Not necessarily.

In Watauga, the emergency calls go to North Richland Hills, along with calls from Richland Hills and Haltom City. And just up the road in Keller, dispatchers field calls from Southlake, Colleyville and Grapevine.

It’s a relatively new idea that started in Northeast Tarrant County and seems to be gaining traction — combine dispatch centers and jail holding cells.

“At first, we looked at it as a way to save some tax dollars,” said Keller Police Chief Mark Hafner. “But as it went along — and now that we’ve been doing it for over six or seven years now — we see that it’s more of an effective tool than it is an efficiency tool.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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