Priorities established for E-911

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 1, 2008

LINDEN &8212; The recently rejuvenated E-911 board made their next order of business establishing some goals for the E-911 service at their

meeting earlier this

month.

Mutschler later turned in his resignation pending a possible move out of the country. Bruce Baker, who was elected vice chairman, will now serve as chairman. Lisa Mangum, executive director for Marengo County E-911, said Mutschler did not want to jeopardize the progress of the board in his absence.

But the main focus of the second meeting of the board, which had enough members in attendance to establish a quorum, was to set out a priority list for immediate needs to the service. With the help of Synergen, a consulting firm based in Georgia who had previously worked with the E-911 board, the board was presented with a two-tiered model of needs for the service.

As previously reported the most immediate need, according to Mangum, was to update the ANI-ALI system, which is a telecommunications locator that provides names, addresses and information on each call sent to E-911.

The board authorized the consulting firm to seek bids on a new system. After bids have been accepted and one is chosen, Mangum said it would still be up to three more months before a new system was operational.

Currently, the ANI-ALI system used by the Marengo County E-911 service is considered at phase I level. This means dispatchers can pinpoint the location of a caller if they call from a land telephone line. If a caller calls from a cell phone, the only location their system can pick up is the location of the cell phone tower that phone is using.

With a new system, dispatchers would be able to pinpoint a physical location for a cell phone user to aid in locating them. Mangum said the majority of Alabama&8217;s E-911 services currently operate at phase II level. At a recent conference in Evergreen, Mangum said at least seven counties were represented and only two of those did not have phase II capabilities.

Other first tier concerns for the service, Mangum said, are purchasing new communications radios, updating map books and updating their standard operating procedures.

On the second tier of priorities is addressing the Computer Aided Dispatch system, or CAD.

One possibility is to get a CAD system operating that would be compatible with the CAD systems of local law enforcement agencies like the Demopolis Police Department. Mangum said with the two systems linked in, all updates to addresses or numbers would occur simultaneously so that both agencies maintained identical location information.

When asked about her reaction to the second meeting of the new board, Mangum said, &8220;I still feel positive that we are moving in the right direction and we are one step closer to reaching our goals.&8221;

The E-911 board held their first meeting in December after the Marengo County Commission opted to ask for blanket resignations from the former board members and repopulate it with new appointments. The former board had come under scrutiny after having difficulty establishing a quorum, therefore hindering them from conducting any business related to the E-911 service.