Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

October 4, 2012

Panel tables action on recording 911 cell phone line

By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer

CROSSVILLE — The Central Communications Committee tabled taking any action until its next meeting toward setting up a recorded cell phone line for calling county animal control and other county employees who are out in the field.

"We have one cell phone back there (in dispatch) that we can use for the county. The trouble is the line's not recorded for 911 and Mike (Harvel) came up here the other day and told us to call animal control on the cell phone from now on and not on the land line," said 911 Communications Director Donald Buttram.

Buttram further explained that Harvel, who is assistant solid waste director and assists with county animal control, told Buttram to have 911 dispatchers call the animal control personnel from the county cell phone that was in dispatch so it wouldn't cost animal control employees additional money or cell phone minutes because they were using their personal cell phones.

"What's going on? I mean, are they being called that much?" Crossville Fire Chief Mike Turner asked.

"Oh, yeah. They get called every day. Sometimes they get called three or four times a day," Buttram said.

Buttram said they checked into getting the cell phone set up on a recorded line.

"We could get an additional line card set up in dispatch at a cost somewhere between the $500 to $800 range," Buttram said.

"We (911 board) might cover that (cost) but I'd have to take it before the board," said Everett Bolin.

"The thing that has me concerned, and the dispatchers, is the liability concerns with no recording," Buttram said.

"Shoot, wouldn't it be better just to pay them for the difference?" Turner asked.

"Aren't there free government cell phones out there?" Crossville Police Chief David Beaty said. "We ought to check into that."

Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. said he would check into the situation further.

"I would recommend we just table it for now and have dispatch to continue to call on the land line that's recorded until we can see what we can come up with," Mayor Carey said.

The committee unanimously agreed. The CCC's next meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2013.

In other areas, Buttram reported the amount of dispatch calls for the third quarter period, which is July, August and September during his director's report.

Buttram reported that the Cumberland County Fire Department had 323 calls for the period, Crossville Fire Department had 655, Crossville Police Department had 9,385, Cumberland County Sheriff's Department had 11,067 and Cumberland County EMS had 3,064.

"We are operating very stable in dispatch right now. The new CAD system and computer system is up and we are all really pleased with the system and the way everything is operating," Buttram said.

Buttram said many of the dispatchers have been sent for training in a variety of fields related to dispatch. He said the center was closer to being certified as a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"We are already on board with that and ahead of time. Many have already been signed up for the state-mandated training and I am scheduled for training in Virginia," Buttram said.

Bolin said he would like to comment on how well everything was running and operating in the E-911 Dispatch Center.

"It's nice to come into these meetings and hear about how well everything is going," Bolin said.

The next CCC meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2013, at 9 a.m. at the E-911 Communications Center.