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Henry County Sheriff shares plans for emergency dispatch center

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:45 PM CDT
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ABBEVILLE, Ala. (WTVY) - Henry County leaders and law enforcement officials are divided on where they want to see the county’s communication center located.

On Monday, News 4 caught up with Henry County Sheriff Will Maddox. Maddox expressed his plans for the county’s dispatch center.

“There’s nobody in Henry County that wants a central dispatch anymore than I do,” Sheriff Maddox said.

Maddox said he wants to keep the county’s 911 dispatch center in the city of Abbeville. Improvements to the Henry County Courthouse Annex Building are well underway for that purpose.

In recent weeks, crews and volunteers have been installing state-of-the-art technology and have added security measures needed to successfully house the center.

“Everything’s ready to go except for the equipment we need to get in here and hooked up. We are ready to dispatch from the annex building,” Maddox said.

That equipment was wrongfully moved from the building, according to Maddox.

“The 9-1-1 Board voted to have the 911 equipment installed in this dispatch. And the 9-1-1 director has come and has taken that equipment away from this dispatch, which I’m hoping he sees the error of his ways and brings it back,” said Maddox.

The county’s top law enforcement officer says the sheriff’s office handles more of the emergency calls in the area..

“Sometimes my clerk has to go to dispatch twice a day and that’s why a convenient location is very important. We have more paper work, more to do than most of the city police departments because we have to handle all the felony arrests,” said Maddox.

That’s one of the reasons why Maddox says he’s opposed to moving his dispatchers down the road to Headland. But there are other reasons.

“The Headland Police Department has never talked with us about a central dispatch. They’ve never agreed to participate in a central dispatch,” said Maddox.

We reached out to the Headland Police Department and E-911 Director Chad Sowell for comment, but have not heard back.

The Henry County Commission’s next scheduled meeting is Tuesday, July 13th.

The agenda includes requests for additional deputy spots for the sheriffs office and action on the location of the Henry County Sheriff’s Dispatch.

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