The Union Recorder

December 13, 2012

City, county leaders still crossed about E911 system

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The recent Local Option Sales Tax intergovernmental agreement called for Baldwin County and City of Milledgeville officials to meet within 30 days regarding the city's proposal to implement a city E911 system.

Tuesday was the first of these gatherings at City Hall. The meeting ended shortly, as both sides recognized a difference in projected operational costs and income from phone fees.

Currently, all city and county emergency calls go through the Baldwin County 911 Center. The county dispatcher must transfer calls within the city limits to the Milledgeville Police Department.

The MPD dispatcher, who doesn't have the information on his or her system, asks the same series of questions. This time lapse causes some delay in emergency response, according to Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord.

Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee said the referenced Atlanta cities like Johns Creek, Brookhaven, Milton and Dunwoody are brand new therefore they chose to operate their own 911.

The Sheriff also wondered why the discussion popped up after his last 23 years with no issues mentioned. Baldwin County recently unveiled its new InterAct based computer aided dispatch (CAD) center.

The county contests the city's CIS CAD system can be interfaced with their InterAct system, removing any need for a perceived duplication of services. In theory, the city dispatchers would have the same caller information on their screens.

Speaking on behalf of the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, Captain Lynnette LaRocque said combining the two systems is possible, with maintenance costs a required side effect.

Baldwin County Commissioner Sammy Hall, District 3, said since the county has a start-of-the-art system it would be in everyone's best interest to work together.

Swicord and City Councilwoman Jeanette Walden, District 2, questioned who will brunt the cost of a system interface. The MPD chief said going to one CAD system makes more sense.

The city believes the fees paid inside the city alone will support a new 911 center. Hall said the county's E911 money doesn't “support the system we have in existence” and doesn't think the city will generate as much as predicted.

City Manager Barry Jarrett said both sides would meet next week to crunch through these divisive numbers.

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