911 radio system causing controversy in Calhoun County
JACKSONVILLE - AL —
The controversy is over finances for an 800 MHz radio system that links emergency response agencies in Calhoun and Talladega County all on a common digital radio network.
Dispatchers like Shelton Gray say the 800 MHz radio system is a good idea but at whose cost. "For two weeks these people are down there and taking these calls and had stressful days and what we're wanting to know from you seven and plus the other seven the word currently was used that our jobs were not in jeopardy because of this radio system," says Gray.
Michael Finch with the 911 board says, "We looked at everything, any entity that had a budget that had governance, and that had some tie to public safety and it was obvious that 911 umbrella was that vehicle."
Many dispatchers are unhappy saying there were talks about a central dispatch center to send all the calls to different police departments within the county versus using the Calhoun county dispatchers to save money.
Although it leaves Gray and other uncertain about their jobs, they agree on having the system put in place to be on one accord with police officers and firefighters.
Anniston fire chief says, "The system is a good system. Are there other systems out there? Probably so, but this is what we have in place right now and what we feel like it's worth saving."
The board will meet next Tuesday at 9am at the administration building in Calhoun county to further discuss finances.