Brantley dispatch calls rerouted to E-911 Center

Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As of Wednesday, Oct. 29, the Crenshaw County E-911 Central Station located in Luverne began taking over all of Brantley’s after-hours’ emergency and dispatch calls.

According to Crenshaw County E-911 Director Jennifer McDougald, this will include calls for emergency purposes, street and utilities, and calls directed to the Brantley Police Department, but only after the regular business day’s hours.

“All of Brantley’s 527-3244 calls will be forwarded to the E-911 office from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from 5 p.m. on Friday until 8 a.m. Monday morning,” McDougald explained. “Brantley residents would normally call 527-3244 for emergency purposes, and this number is still the valid and available contact number for residents to use. The calls will simply be rerouted or transferred to the E-911 Center during these particular hours, and there won’t be a long distance fee.”

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Brantley Administrator Larry Morgan said the change in dispatching services would ultimately save the town some revenue, and it would increase their funding to E-911, if everything works out well.

“E-911 has requested that Brantley pay $800 a month for its services, but we’re going to see how this works first,” he explained. “We’re not paying that money right now because nothing is in concrete yet.”

The county’s E-911 center and the town of Brantley are working through a trial period, Morgan said, that would last from now until the end of this year. If the transition works successfully, Brantley would be eliminating a majority of their dispatchers after Jan. 1.

“There won’t be any loss in services to our citizens,” Morgan said. “We’ll still be providing the same police, rescue and fire services as we have in the past. It’s just a matter of the location of the dispatchers.”

“We’re transitioning from handling our dispatch locally to a more centrally located area at the E-911 Center. Plus, they are better equipped to handle emergency dispatch situations.”

Brantley Police Chief Lamar Chandler is concerned, however, that some residents may be reluctant to the change.

“We still have people who will call the station and not E-911 out of habit, because it’s what they’re used to doing,” he said. “As for me, I’m worried about officer safety if we can’t get a signal in order to reach E-911, but I’ll give it my best shot.”

In the unforeseen event the number 527-3244 is not transferred or reachable, Brantley residents can call 335-4844, McDougald explained. This call will be a long distance call, however, if residents don’t have area calling.

“This is a transition process, and it will take some time to get the kinks worked out,” she said. “Every effort will be made to make this a successful transition, and Brantley residents should expect the same high quality services they have received in the past, and hopefully even better once everything is running smoothly and in order.”

“This is an attempt to try to centralize the county as a whole and provide the same high quality emergency services to everyone.”