Central Dispatch names new director

Courtesy photoPeter McWatters, an acting deputy chief with the Grand Rapids Police Department, will soon be starting work in West Olive as the new executive director of the Ottawa County Central Dispatch Authority.

WEST OLIVE — Peter McWatters says he had always thought that after he transfered out of his police career, he would follow it with something similar.

The Ottawa County Central Dispatch Authority Board recently hired McWatters to fill its executive director position.

The former director, Tim Smith, retired about a month ago after working for about 30 years at Central Dispatch.

Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis, who is chairperson of OCCDA's Policy Board, said he is happy to have McWatters fill the position.

“I can only say good things about him,” McGinnis said. “We are so pleased to recruit him.”

McWatters' first day on the job will be Sept. 19. Until then, he will be wrapping up work in Grand Rapids.

“I’m one of the acting deputy chiefs at the Grand Rapids Police Department," he said. "I cover administrative and investigative services, which includes the dispatch center. I have the experience and this just seemed like a good fit with my interests. It’s my home township.”

While the position isn’t exactly law enforcement, it’s close, McWatters said.

“Dispatch employees are the first contact with people in need of emergency services," he explained. "The efficiency with which they do their job can directly affect the outcome.

“I hear nothing but good things about this system," McWatters added." I’m looking forward to meeting the employees and working with them. I know anyone in that position is highly dedicated and mission focused.”

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