The council in the Mercer County town voted 4-0 Tuesday to award a two-year $718,400 a year contract to iXP Corp. of Cranbury to handle police calls.
Councilman Michael Powers told The Times of Trenton the population has gone up, but the police department hasn't grown with it.
Lawrence had filled only five of the nine dispatcher jobs and was using police officers to help out.
Township officials say the private company's bid was about $1 million cheaper over five years including having police officers handle the duties. The savings was much lower without those costs.
Last-minute talks with the dispatchers' union to renegotiate the contract failed to change the vote to privatize.
Information from: The (Trenton, N.J.) Times, http://www.nj.com/times