MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

October 25, 2008

E911 center need now

On Nov. 4, vote yes on County Questions Propositions 1 and 2.

We can’t stress the seriousness of those two votes. Their passage would bring Muskogee County up to date with the latest emergency response system — something other nearby counties, all of which are smaller in population, have instituted.

It’s a shame that in a county our size, we have an antiquated system. In the last two decades, many counties and regions have seen that their various law enforcement agencies are able to communicate directly with one another. They have a central command to which calls go directly and from which dispatchers, using up-to-date equipment, can notify the appropriate response teams.

Right now, all emergency calls don’t go to the 911 center, and another glaring deficiency is that emergency calls from cell phones don’t always go directly to the 911 center in the area from which the call was made.

Many homes still use land lines, but more and more cell phones are replacing traditional home phones. Cell phone users should be able to access the command center directly. It’s simply common sense.

The two propositions provide the funding so that our 911 service can be upgraded. Of course, the upgrade costs.

Proposition 1 proposes increasing a land-line subscriber’s fee from 5 percent to 15 percent, and the total fee would be about $2 to $3 per month per line. The cell phone charge, which Proposition 2 proposes, would amount to 50 cents per month for users with local access numbers.

Vote yes on both propositions. For all of us, it could mean one day getting emergency help expeditiously or waiting and waiting and waiting ...

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