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Sheriff Bryan Whitney is proud to announce that his office was awarded $745,069.78 from the Missouri 911 Service Board Grant. The main goal of the grant is to provide funding to smaller counties, to update 911 equipment to the newest technology available. The grant will allow Sheriff Whitney’s dispatch/call taking center to progress from a basic 911 system to Next Generation Enhanced 911. Sheriff Whitney states that in simple terms, this new next generation 911 system will provide point accuracy of a callers location during an emergency. Sheriff Whitney noted that with this upgrade, his office will be able to locate the caller’s exact location in seconds instead of minutes.
This project was approved by the Scotland County Commissioners on January 12, 2022. Commissioners Duane Ebeling, Brent Rockhold, and David Wiggins worked on the application process with Sheriff Whitney for the past five months.
The project will include a new phone system upgrade, new computers, GIS 10-layer (Google Earth style) Mapping System, 36 KW Generac LP generator, Zetron dispatch radio upgrade, Bluebird Network, voice products gold support and training. This grant is expected to fund the project for the next five years.
Currently the Scotland County Dispatch Center is responsible for dispatching for the following departments: Scotland County Sheriff, Memphis Police Department, Memphis/Scotland County Fire, MSHP, Scotland County Ambulance, Gorin and Rutledge Fire Departments. The updated system will benefit the sheriff’s office, ambulance services, and fire departments equally.
The project is scheduled to be completed in four phases: Currently, they are in the Phase 1 (order) stage. The final completion date is set for on or before February 1, 2023. Sheriff Whitney has high hopes that the completion date will be much sooner than projected. The equipment is expected to last many years without needing to be updated.