Emergency 911 system upgrades approved

Published: Apr. 17, 2017 at 5:47 PM CDT
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First responders may be able to respond to calls more quickly in the coming months.

The Lauderdale County Emergency 911 operates with four dispatchers 24/7. E-911 director, Jared Stanley, says its system is getting major upgrades. The City of Meridian, Lauderdale County and the Town of Marion are replacing a decades old 911 dispatching system for a little over $1 million.

"Everybody is on board; all of the paper is in place and we are moving forward. It is still going to be several months before it is completed but there are no longer any roadblocks in getting us down that road. The 911 upgrade is on its way," said Stanley.

Stanley said the new system upgrades will improve response times and help law enforcement officers and firefighters responding to emergencies.

"I think it is going to take a lot of burden off of the dispatchers because of how this new software is going to streamline their work flow. And I think it is going to be a big morale boost to the whole department and we can thereby keep dispatchers around longer and make more career dispatchers out of this," said Stanley.

In celebration of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the agency received a proclamation from the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, recognizing them for a demanding job.

"That is a strenuous job. That is a job one you actually take home to your family. Whenever you hear someone pass away on the other end of the line that is something that you can't forget. There is a special breed of people who do that and we thank them," said Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors president, Josh Todd.

The new system software upgrades should happen within the next couple of months.

The E-911 budget remains in a deficit. Stanley said it is $50,000 in the red. He says he's working with officials to find a solution.