We’re all in this together

Published 3:33 pm Friday, July 15, 2022

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Natchez is a part of Adams County and E-911 is a combined service for both the city and the county as a whole. When it comes to discussing the relocation of E-911, it only makes sense to have a joint meeting with both municipalities along with the Chief of Police, Adams County Sheriff and E-911 Director at the table.

For some reason or another, even after officials discussed doing so, that has not happened.

In the meantime, E-911 Director Annette Fells has said that if the need to rehouse the service is put off much longer, there may not be any dispatchers left to relocate. She said she has lost employees due to poor working conditions or too little pay and can’t replace them.

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She has made it clear the basement of the Adams County Jail is not the place for them to be.

We feel whatever solution is both cost-effective and safest for the residents of Natchez and Adams County is the best solution for us all.

While it does not fix the larger issue of the condition of the Adams County Jail, it seems the compromise that Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry offered to house E-911 inside the city police department would better suit the department’s needs.

The police department has a clean facility that no longer holds inmates until trial. They are instead transferred over to the Adams County Jail.

While the city is part of Adams County, 9-1-1 receives twice if not three times the number of calls from inside city limits than the rural area surrounding it, and so keeping the department close to the city police might not be such a bad idea.

However, we should still hear what Fells and the county have to say about it, and the best way of doing so is to have everyone in the same place to discuss it. This back-and-forth letter passing between the city and the county and waiting around until each has their next meeting only slows down the process. The best way to avoid miscommunication is to communicate.

When it comes to public safety, there is no room for error.