• 77°

E-911 costs by city, county outlined

The attempt to consolidate law enforcement dispatch across Pearl River County into a centralized E911 Dispatch for all of the law enforcement agencies within the county is moving forward. Equipment costs for the proposed consolidation are estimated at $1.2 million over the next five years.

Currently, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office receives calls for both the county and the city of Poplarville, while the city of Picayune has its own dispatch center.

The consolidation will bring all dispatchers to one location, the Chimney Square Building owned by the county located on Goodyear Boulevard in Picayune, and will give all three law enforcement agencies the same systems for dispatch, answering calls, records management and jail management. The planned consolidation is meant to improve communications between dispatchers and decrease response times, according to previous coverage.

Cost

Over the next five years the equipment costs for the proposed E911 consolidation are expected to be an estimated $1.2 million: $475,000 for records management and jail management and $750,000 for taking calls and dispatching. The county plans to finance the cost so that it annually pays $95,000 for records management and jail management and $150,000 for call taking and dispatch, said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin.

The county will pay the vendor and employ the dispatchers while the cities of Picayune and Poplarville will reimburse the county for their respective share of the cost.

CommSouth has put together a package from several vendors for the equipment. The county will purchase equipment, including software, hardware and support, from CommSouth.

Zetron is the vendor for call taking and dispatch. The cost for call taking, radio dispatch and CAD/GIS mapping hardware and software is estimated at $436,520 for the first year and $16,875 for subsequent years.

The proposed cost for monitors, back room equipment and back up power is $16,346.

The proposed cost for records management for the sheriff’s department is $47,356 for the first year and $29,606 for the subsequent four years. For the Picayune Police Department, records management would be $16,300 for the first year and $11,400 for each subsequent year and for the Poplarville Police Department records management would be $13,276 for the first year and $7,376 annually for the subsequent years.

The jail management system will cost an estimated $127,640 in the first year and $17,190 each subsequent year.

Funding

The cost of the consolidation is divided based on 911 call volume: the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office receives 45 percent of the call volume in the county, the Picayune Police Department receives 42 percent and the Poplarville Police Department receives 7 percent. The remaining 6 percent of 911 calls were for fire departments.

The city of Poplarville would pay for 7 percent of the costs while the city of Picayune would be responsible for 42 percent. The county’s portion of the consolidation costs would come from E-911 funds and the county general fund. E-911 funds generate approximately $150,000 per year.

The Poplarville Police Department has a Justice Department Grant that might be used to pay for part of its initial records management costs, $8,276, according to previous coverage.

The consolidated dispatch is still expected to have the same number of dispatchers as are currently employed by the county and the Picayune Police Department, but they would all be county employees, said Lumpkin.

Where the consolidation stands

The county executed an interlocal agreement for the consolidation in March, but that agreement has since been rewritten. Lumpkin said he believed the cities would enter the agreement in early April, according to previous coverage.

After the Poplarville Board of Aldermen voiced concerns about the terms of the agreement, their agreement with the county was rewritten. The city of Poplarville entered the rewritten interlocal agreement with Pearl River County for the consolidation on Tuesday. The Board was divided on the agreement, with two aldermen voting against, two voting for and the Mayor breaking the tie with a vote for the agreement. The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the rewritten interlocal agreement, said Lumpkin.

The city of Picayune is expected to discuss an interlocal agreement for the consolidation at the July 7 meeting, said Lumpkin.