$1 Million Grant For E911 Upgrade

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OZARK, AL-- More than one million dollars in grant money is coming to Ozark. That’s the largest public safety grant ever to be awarded in Dale County.

This money will not only help first responders get to a scene faster, but will link up agencies across Alabama.

You may not want to know the person on the other line is relying on equipment more than 12 years old.

Tim Byrd, E911 Board Chairman said, “We realized we had 1999, 2000 technology in our 911 center and we needed to make an upgrade.”

That upgrade will come to the Ozark-Dale County E911 center thanks to a more than 1 million dollar federal grant.

Making it easier to communicate with agencies across the state and nation.

Larry Daniels said, “If we respond to a natural disaster such as Tuscaloosa tornadoes. We will be able to seamlessly communicate with them in that area.”

Tim Byrd said, “It will not only benefit our citizens but citizens anywhere.”

Also with the new technology, GPS features. Allowing dispatch to not only pinpoint the closest first responder to get to an emergency,

Larry Daniels said, “If something happens to a police officer, and he is unable to call us on the radio, we’ll know exactly where he is at.”

Better protecting the officers and the community.

Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell said, “We are being proactive and we feel like we are leading the small communities in the state of Alabama in providing these services.”

This is the same system the FBI used during the Midland City Hostage situation. Getting this grant was a combined effort by the Ozark Fire, Dale County Sheriff’s Office and Ozark/Dale County E911.

The E911 center and board will match the grant with 5 percent to cover the cost. Several planning meetings started today to begin the process of putting the new system in place.

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