FOX47 NEWS - Falk Proposes 911 Upgrades

Jeff Angileri
Aug 20, 2008, 9:17 PM

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk proposed money for major upgrades in technology and staffing for next year's 911 center budget.

Falk is asking for a quarter million dollars in new technology alone, using a nationwide program to better deploy police to emergencies.

Under the new plan, dispatchers would ask a series of specific questions to quickly get as many details as possible from 911 callers.

More information to police, and faster, so they can respond faster, said Falk.

This allows dispatchers to prioritize information, and make sure resources are used properly.

Falk said, By sending the right equipment, we're not sending too much equipment. And you know when you have a real need that there will be a responder there with equipment for you.

The 911 center came under fire this spring when a 911 dispatcher hung up on an emergency call from Brittany Zimmermann's cell phone and never called back. The UW student was later found murdered in her Madison apartment.

The technology is still not good enough to pinpoint the location of cell phone callers, although Falk says the new system is state-of-the-art.

She wants to hire 7 more employees at the 911 center to help implement the new system. If the plan is adopted, the center's budget would increase by 10 percent.

We'll have better service for our public, said Falk. Greater quality assurance and reliability on our 911 system, and it's better for local law enforcement.

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