Dothan's Police Funding

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

A new dispatch system will soon better equip emergency responders during the time of emergencies.

The multi- million dollar system could be the answer to your call.

Many Dothan residents dial 615-3000, then 0 for the operator, to find and connect with a city department. That number also serves as the city's emergency dispatch system or 911.

Soon however, employees’ at Dothan’s Call Center will say out with the old and in with the new.

Dothan’s Police Department will no longer use its current emergency system, which is outdated and ineffective.

At times, the current system has even caused officers to lose reception in some areas.

Chief John Powell with the Dothan Police Department explains, "It's just worn out. It's like other equipment, it’s 13 years old and it doesn't supply the level of service that we had for the five components or the police department."

For a price tag of $12.9 million dollars, the city plans to purchase the new high-tech system.

The money also includes building three new communication towers for a new call center, and possibly combining Houston County’s E911 Center with Dothan’s in a new building.

In addition, it will come with all the bells and whistles.

“It's cutting edge technology. It's 'I.P', which means the system can be updated simply by changing the program in the computer. Additionally, we're increasing the number of radars being provided to our emergency responders,” explains Chief Powell.

Motorola has recently agreed to be the service provider to the new system.

The Dothan E911 system including the newly constructed sight will be completed in 18 months.

However, authorities do point out during the transition period, residents will still be able to call in their emergencies.

The funds should come from grants and the one percent sales tax.


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