Poplarville elected official concerned about timing of 911 consolidation

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2020

Some Poplarville officials are concerned about the consolidated E911 dispatch system being up and running in a timely manner because that timing could affect a grant the Poplarville Police Department has already received.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the county is trying to have the consolidated E911 dispatch up and running by the start of November and believes the grant funding is not in jeopardy.

The consolidated dispatch plan includes plans for a dispatch center in Picayune that would be used for all three law enforcement agencies in the county, a new jail management system and a new records management system.

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The final interlocal agreement needed to move the consolidated dispatch forward was signed by the city of Picayune on Tuesday. Poplarville entered its interlocal agreement with the county in mid-June.

The Poplarville Police Department will be the first of the three agencies to start using the new records management system to submit NIBRS reports to the state, said Lumpkin. The police department is tentatively set to begin training on the system in August. Lumpkin said he was hopeful that all three law enforcement agencies would be able to start using the new records management system by November 1.

The Poplarville Police Department has been awarded grant funding to purchase the records management system, but several city officials are concerned that the department will lose that funding due to the timing of the consolidation.

During the regular Poplarville Board meeting Tuesday, Alderwoman Anne Smith said she was concerned about the timing of the training on the new records management system and concerned that the Poplarville Police Department would not meet a January deadline to receive the grant funding.

“We’re going to lose the grant, we’re going to, because we’re going with some company that can’t deliver the Nike shoe with the gel sole,” said Smith.

The Justice Department grant would be used to pay $8,276 directly to Agisent, the company providing the records management system.

Poplarville’s Police Chief Danny Collier is also concerned that the department will lose grant funding due to the timing of the records management system being up and running.
Collier said that in order to receive the grant, his department would need to submit six months of reports using the new system by January—something that is no longer possible. That would mean finding the funding for purchasing the records management system in the police department budget.

Lumpkin said he did not think the grant funding was in jeopardy.

“Everybody knew they’re not going to make their January deadline for six months of stuff,” said Lumpkin. “It didn’t matter how they went, they’re not going to make that part. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get certified. You have to be submitting data by January 1. You can’t get certified until you submit data for six months, that doesn’t mean they’re not compliant.”

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen had approved purchasing a records management system from a different company, but rescinded that decision in early June and opted to use the same company as the county.

Anne Smith said she believes utilizing the other company would have allowed the police department to have a new records management system up and running within 30 days.

According to emails obtained by the Item, Agisent currently only has one person available to train the police department on the new records management system.

Lumpkin said that the number of trainers available has not impacted the timing of when the Poplarville Police Department will be able to use the new system as much as delays in getting the interlocal agreements signed.

The interlocal agreement that the city of Poplarville has with Pearl River County includes a clause that the county would pay the $8,276 if the police department is unable to use the records management software to become NIBRS compliant. Lumpkin said that the county would not be responsible for paying Poplarville those funds if the police department missed the deadline due to when they received training on the records management system.

“The software will be compliant,” said Lumpkin. “It will capture the data that NIBRS needs. If they don’t do their part there’s no repercussion back on the county.”

Agisent has submitted test NIBRS reports to the state, which have been approved, said Lumpkin. So local law enforcement agencies should not have issues submitting NIBRS reports to the state once the software is in use, he said.