System upgrade to pinpoint location of cell calls to 911

The 911 system in Copiah County will soon be upgraded to allow dispatchers to pinpoint the location of cell phone calls.

911 director Rick Stevens asked the board to approve installation of equipment and software to complete the second phase of upgrades that began in September 2006. An additional piece of equipment is needed that was not included in the budget. The board approved the $2200 installation and $190 per month service fee.

The upgraded system can pinpoint a cellular caller’s location to within nine feet, Stevens explained. The way the old system is currently set up, mobile calls to 911 show dispatchers the cellular tower closest to the caller’s location.

The upgrade will help tremendously in situations such as hunters lost in the woods, or motorists stranded on rural highways, or if a caller is injured and cannot give directions to the location. Emergency personnel can know the caller’s precise location without having to search.

“Hopefully by the end of the month we will have all this hooked up and running,” Stevens told the board.

OTHER BUSINESS

James Whittington was hired as part time deputy. Bobby Gene Smith was hired as jailer. The bailiffs were authorized to attend a training conference.

Randle Drane, emergency management director, updated the board on grant applications and projects, including the courthouse generators and an opportunity to get a $200,000 grant to link in to the statewide communications system.

The board discussed personnel and litigation in executive session. The board voted to reallocate the board attorneys’ salaries now that Elise Munn and Jim Shannon will not be practicing in the same firm. Both will continue to represent the board, with Munn handling day to day matters.

The low bid of Blain was accepted on the airport access road project.

A resolution was passed requesting State Aid to reconsider the rumble strip requirement on the Brown’s Wells and Carter Hill overlay project. The design speed when these roads were built was 30-35 mph, explained engineer Joe Johnson, and the shoulders are not wide enough for it.

The board will meet again on Tuesday, February 10, at 9 a.m.

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