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911 backup plan developed

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Scott County commission news

BENTON -- Scott County officials are seeking to arrange for the Sikeston Department of Public Safety to serve as the county's backup E-911 dispatch center.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, county commissioners discussed several items related to shutting down the county's 911 call center in Miner.

The call center is slated to be shut down at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Joel Evans, county developer, said the county's 911 advisory committee was very helpful in pointing out procedural requirements for closing down the 911 dispatching center in Miner and routing all 911 calls to the county's Communications Center at Benton. Among these requirements, the need to identify a backup 911 dispatching center is the most important, Evans said.

Scott City's 911 call center will initially serve as the county's backup, according to Evans.

County officials are now working with Sikeston to develop a protocol for that city's 911 call center to eventually serve as the county's primary backup.

Evans said Sikeston's call center is preferred both for its superior technology and its dispatchers' familiarity with the county.

Once things are worked out for Sikeston to be the county's backup call center, Scott City will probably be retained as "a third-level of protection," Evans added. "It can only be more advantageous to have multiple backups."

Currently, "Stoddard County backs Sikeston and Sikeston backs Stoddard County," Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn noted. "Everybody's got to have a backup."

Ziegenhorn said Sikeston DPS Director Drew Juden has offered his 911 expertise to the county and has been very helpful. "Drew has a world of knowledge," he said. "He knows a lot about it."

Evans said AT&T officials confirmed they will have a representative at Miner during the switch to ensure 911 calls are properly routed to the county Communications Center to Scott City in the event the county call center is disabled.