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Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2011

Douglas County Commissioners approve replacing kaput emergency phone system

March 3, 2011

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Douglas County Commission approved Wednesday the purchase of a new phone system for the Douglas County Emergency Communications Center following a system breakdown during the weekend.

Plans were already in the works to purchase a new system and were set to be approved at Wednesday’s meeting. However, following the breakdown, during which the feature to pinpoint a caller’s location stopped functioning, County Administrator Craig Weinaug approved the emergency use of nearly $225,000 to purchase the new system three days ahead of schedule. Commissioners approved that decision at its Wednesday meeting.

“The risk in terms of the system breaking down again was great enough that the sheriff justified to me that it was a true emergency,” Weinaug said. “All the information about what we were going to purchase was already figured out, and the documentation was already there.”

Weinaug said that although the problem was fixed temporarily and calls were rerouted through the KU Public Safety system, the risk of another breakdown was high enough to speed up the purchase.

The new phone system will be next-generation 911 compliant, which will be required of all 911 centers nationwide by January 2013.

“The current phone system that we have installed is obsolete, very outdated and costly to maintain,” Amanda Reusch, interim director for Douglas County Emergency Communications, said in a written statement. “The current equipment we have installed is no longer being made.”

The new equipment was ordered on Monday and is set to be delivered Friday.

Comments

caringforthecommunity 3 years, 9 months ago

I would assume the 911 recording equipment is different equipment than the 911 PHONE SYSTEM???

Paula Kissinger 3 years, 9 months ago

Mostly this occurs because the system will NEVER be truly up to date. The equipment needed for that to occur is out of financial reach for the county and most agencies have their systems upgraded when it is a total necessity. Usually upgrades are just that...an upgrade of an existing system...not a replacement. That is not cost effective for the county and it is doubtful that it ever will be.

For the armchair quarterbacks, it is not always "the system" where a communications problem lies. There are many officers using the system at the same time, a lot of times they cover each other, sometimes their portables lose the signal, dispatchers may be on the phone with a screaming subject and didn't completely hear what an officer has said...it just happens. People are human and human error comes into play. The law enforcement agencies in this county contain some of the most knowledgeable, professional and decent people I have ever known. They do their jobs with integrity and pride in the face of much community resentment, ignorance and opposition.

The police are not perfect...no one is. I guarantee that if you have a legitimate concern, are patient and persevere you will receive assistance and resolve from the LEO's in our county. Complainers are free to move to NYC, Chicago, KCK, LA, Dallas...

rse1979 3 years, 9 months ago

So the situation was enough of an emergency to place the order before receiving the county commission's approval, but not urgent enough to require overnight shipping/delivery? Certainly seems that whatever temporary solution is being utilized until Friday, could have also been used a couple more days to have allowed the commission to approve the expense beforehand.

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