City’s E-911 proposal makes good sense

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For an inexcusable amount of time, our emergency 911 dispatchers have suffered through deplorable working conditions. We have written about those conditions ad nauseam.

The situation is so bad, it is making hiring and retaining these essential employees difficult at best. The dispatchers need to be located elsewhere post haste.

Adams County and City of Natchez law enforcement share dispatch services and costs of same, which only makes sense.

Email newsletter signup

Annette Fells, the dispatch manager, was asked to find a building suitable to serve as a new location for the dispatch operation by the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

Fells did that, and county attorney Scott Slover in turn sent a new E-911 dispatch budget to the City of Natchez which includes costs of buying and renovating the new building, as well as transfer of equipment and the purchase of generators and security features.

As one would expect, buying a new building, beefing up security for it, adding a generator large enough to power a building for seamless dispatching and moving dispatch equipment isn’t cheap. It would add significantly to the costs of the city and the county.

Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry has proposed an alternative, which is moving the dispatch services to the city’s police department.

Daughtry’s decision makes complete sense. In fact, it’s such a good plan, one must wonder why it hasn’t been considered earlier?

The costs of moving the dispatch center to the police department, which has ample room for the department, is far, far less expensive than purchasing a new building and outfitting it.

Of course, as often the case, politics, personalities, control and power become issues that stand in the way of what is best for citizens.

We urge county supervisors, E-911 board members and all involved to put taxpayers and the safety of residents and needs of employees first. Give strong consideration to Daughtry’s proposal. It only makes good sense.