The Covington-Newton County 911 Center is a wonder of efficiency, working hard to keeping us safe. We are impressed with the professionalism of its staff and how they keep the public updated on wrecks, fires and other emergencies through social media.
That being said, we would ask our local governments to say no to Director Mike Smith's request for four more dispatchers.
There are several reasons to say no. As we reported Sunday on the budget breakdown for the 911 center, we're paying more in Newton County for our service to answer calls than other counties of similar size in Georgia. The call center has fewer workers, but it also handles fewer calls, according to our report. See it at covnews.com.
We're also puzzled at call center employees receiving raises in a down economy. How can you justify a 5 percent raise in 2008, a 2.5 percent raise in 2009, and another 5 percent raise in 2010 when so many of the folks footing the bill for government are out of work or underemployed and struggling to make ends meet?
Times are too tough and the local governments (that's us, the taxpayers) can't afford to pay out to fulfill this request.