E-911 concerns needs to be addressed

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Clearly, problems still remain with the recently combined city-county E911 dispatching center.

Complaints again rose Monday night at a neighborhood watch meeting.

Residents as well as the Natchez mayor expressed problems with what should be the clearest phone call ever made — an emergency one.

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Most people have the reasonable expectation that when we call 911 the person on the other end of the line is courteous, professional and highly skilled in answering phone calls.

Based on feedback provided Monday night, that may not be the case.

Residents complained of unprofessional dispatchers.

Mayor Darryl Grennell said a recent call he made was less than smooth, having to effectively say his name multiple times and ultimately play the ‘I’m the mayor” card to get the dispatcher to understand who he was.

Any problems with emergency dispatching need to be quickly put on the table and addressed with great haste.

Lives are on the line when a 911 call is made and to have anything but the very, best response is unacceptable.

Some criticism waged at Monday’s meeting regarding exactly who is expected to communicate reports of shots fired to the mayor, sheriff and police chief are a little bit off-point.

The answer here is not to simply ball up the plan and go back to the utterly redundant and wasteful system of having two separate dispatching centers. The answer will be in communicating the problems and quickly resolving them.