Geneva County’s E-911 director says dispatch duties will soon be returned to several law enforcement agencies. The sheriff’s department, along with Hartford and Geneva police have until June 1 to pay, or loses the service.
At this time, Slocomb and Samson police departments pay $18,000 a year for their dispatch calls to be handled by the E-911 center. But, the center has also been handling calls for departments in Geneva, Hartford and the sheriff's department. E-911 director Richard Underwood says they have until June 1st to also pay for the service, or lose it.
E-911 Director Richard Underwood said, "We just decided on May 19 to stop it and effective June 1. That’s the date when it goes into effect. We can't provide free dispatch to those agencies anymore"
The Hartford police department has its own dispatch center. Chief Greg Adams says residents and businesses have been paying a two-dollar surcharge on their monthly phone bills for 911 services over the last seven years.
"Not really going to affect us at this time. We didn't ask them to do it for us. We’ll be able to pick-up any additional service" Chief Adams.
If ties' are cut with 911, Chief Adams will ask his citizens to call his department directly.
Several years-ago, jail correctional officers used to dispatch part-time but, that can no longer be maintained
"We only have two correctional officers on a shift. Its going to put them at a greater danger to try and do it all and I am not going to ask that they do," said Sheriff Greg Ward.
If service is cut to any agency, Underwood says his dispatchers will send all calls to directly to the appropriate agency. It'll then be up to that agency to call emergency responders.
E-911 personnel will continue to handle life or death calls directly.