Leaders needs to improve efficiency, economy of E911 dispatch

Published 12:02 am Sunday, April 15, 2018

A year has passed since Natchez and Adams County merged resources and created a consolidated emergency response dispatch center.

The move came after decades of having two separate, but largely duplicative dispatch centers — one at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the other at the Natchez Police Department.

We applaud the move now, as we did when it was first discussed.

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As Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford has said since the dispatch center’s inception, the creation of such will unavoidably cause some problems.

And this has certainly been true here. Complaints about the effectiveness of the dispatch center immediately bubbled to the surface.

Now, as the center marks nearly a year of existence, Bradford says he has not yet been able to determine how far over budget the center is.

That’s unacceptable to us. Bradford, and for that matter other city and county leaders as well, should have been monitoring the dollars and cents of this each month since the launch.

The goal of the consolidation was both to improve emergency response times as well as save taxpayer money.

The latter of those goals, apparently, has not yet been realized, and it would seem the problem is at least in part an inattention to the details.

Bradford and other city and county leaders need to quickly review the progress of the center and look for ways to improve the efficiency and the economy of the project.