E911 board: Dispatch should improve

Published 12:15 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019


NATCHEZ — Law enforcement and emergency officials said E911 dispatch conditions should improve soon.

The statement came during Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors when Tim Houghton, American Medical Response operations manager said the E911 advisory board met Friday to address a recent complaint about the response time to an emergency call.

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Houghton said the delayed response resulted from a human error and not because of the E911 system.

No level of professional training can cover everything and some things can only be learned on the job, Houghton said.

“We have a better understanding of what happened and have plans going forward on how to continue to improve this 911 process,” Houghton said.

The E911 advisory board, Houghton said, also revisited their bylaws and made a few revisions for the board of supervisors’ approval.

Houghton said the changes established that a full-staff for E911 would include 13 full-time dispatchers and two part-time dispatchers and created a formal process for law officials to request records of a call as part of an investigation.

Houghton said the Adams County Sheriff’s Office would also soon be operating with Mississippi Wireless Information Network system radios, which would put them on the same communication systems as the Natchez Police Department and other agencies throughout the state and improve response times.

“We are that much closer to having every agency on the same radio frequency,” he said. “We are happy about that because it is going to sync everyone throughout the county without them having to pick up a different radio.”

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said the new radios were received and had to go through individual testing before they could be put into full use later this week.

“We had to go through the red tape … but we got through all that and the radios are in,” Patten said. “We’ve been programing them and testing them over the last two weeks and we should have them online before the end of the week.”

In other matters during Monday’s meeting of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, the board:

  •  Unanimously approved a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant application for $50,000 to assist with purchasing six patrol vehicles for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. Adams County administrator said the grant would require a local match of approximately $172,000.
  • Unanimously approved construction bids for $108,000 for work at the Providence and Lagrange community centers.
  • Unanimously approved a donation of $500 to sponsor a historical tour in Natchez on Oct. 25, which commemorates 400 years of the African American presence in the United States.