Two E-911 dispatch centers are indeed allowed by state law.
Before Commissioner Roosevelt Allen and Executive Director Hitchcock dismiss St. John's proposed alternative to a single countywide public safety answering point as "illegal and impractical," they should acquaint themselves with state law. Indiana Code 36-8-16.7-47(c) specifically permits a county to have two PSAPs after the state-mandated deadline.
This viable, and legal, option would not only appease the very valid concerns of the suburban and rural communities, but a second dispatch center also provides a desirable backup location if designed properly.
Our county’s elected officials and public safety administrators need to stop kicking this well-dented can further down the road.
If their delays continue without resolution, the citizens of Lake County will receive nothing but a busy signal when dialing 911 after Jan. 1, 2015.
- Jeffrey Williams, Highland, Member, Indiana Chapter, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials