State law requires contracts for E-911

Published 8:08 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First responders and elected officials from across the county attended a meeting presented by attorney Mark Ryan on Tuesday night, and Ryan clarified a number of issues concerning E-911 and dispatching.

Ryan is an attorney from Bay Minette, and he serves as the E-911 attorney for Baldwin and Covington counties.

Crenshaw County E-911 director Scott Stricklin met Ryan at a professional seminar in Prattville earlier in the summer and asked him to come speak.

Ryan addressed several things that will affect Crenshaw County in order for the county to be in compliance with state law, specifically with E-911 providing emergency and non-emergency dispatch services for government and private emergency responders.

“E-911 can contract with municipalities and private entities,” Ryan said.

State law allows E-911 boards to enter into a written contract and provide dispatching services at a negotiated rate.

“We’re not trying to cut out service for anyone,” Stricklin said. “We’re just trying to get in compliance with state law.”

Stricklin referred to a sheet of call statistics from July 2010 to June 2011.

During that time period, 5,983 emergency calls were logged and 8,389 routine traffics calls were handled by E-911.

The breakdown by department is as follows: Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office: 2,603 emergency, 4,168 routine; Brantley PD 414 emergency, 1,523 routine; Alabama State Troopers 282 emergency, 1,370 routine; Luverne Rescue 879 emergency, 393 routine; Dozier PD 230 emergency, 516 routine; Brantley Rescue 395 emergency, 335 routine; County Fire Departments 760 emergency, 76 routine; Luverne PD 420 emergency, 8 routine.

Any call placed by a citizen qualifies as an emergency. Routine dispatches include day-to-day operations such as prisoner transfers, officers coming on and off duty, etc.

“Both sides have to agree to any contract,” Stricklin said. “Each municipality has the full right to not take part and go hire their own dispatch personnel.”