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911 advisory board to reactivate
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Rockdale County is tabling until May the discussion of moving 911 supervision to the sheriff's office while a long-dormant advisory board is reactivated.

Last month, an item bringing up the move of E-911 supervision from the public safety department, which is headed by Fire Chief Dan Morgan, to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office for discussion appeared on the Board of Commissioners agenda but was postponed by the Post 1 and Post 2 commissioners since Chairman Richard Oden was out of town. In the last several weeks, Morgan said the fire department, sheriff's office, commissioners, chief of staff, sheriff, deputy sheriff and himself have been in discussions.

The 911 advisory board is an agency filed with the state, but the last time it was updated and active was 2000, said Morgan.

"If we can reestablish the advisory board and have a conversation about where the best place is for 911, I think that's very doable rather than acting on it right now," said Morgan at Tuesday's Board of Commissioners work session. This is similar to what neighboring counties are already doing, said Morgan.

In 2000, the 911 advisory board had the BOC Chair, 911 director, 911 coordinator, Sheriff, Fire Chief, National EMS representative, the county Finance Director, and the county Public Services and Engineering Director.

RCSO Chief Deputy Scott Freeman reiterated that the agencies have been working closely in the last several weeks to gather information for a recommendation.

Freeman said "There is no issue between the services... We talk constantly and often about operational issues. We have a very good working relationship. No matter what the end outcome is going to be we have a good working relationship."

Oden said, "I certainly appreciate this collaboration and coming together... Please express my sincere appreciation to the Sheriff... and the others that's been involved. The advisory board is a good thing so we can get to the heart and soul of the mission to protect, serve, enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Rockdale."

Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said, "I support that 100 percent. It is great to see the sheriff's office, fire department, e-911 are collaborating, regardless of what the end result is."

Commissioner JaNice Van Ness said in the meeting that the advisory board would be an independent body and each participating agency, plus members of the community that are knowlegeble about the operations of 911, would have seats.

However, Morgan said after Tuesday's BOC meeting, through county spokesperson Tonya Parker, that the various agencies will start by looking at the makeup of the advisory board.

Parker said "The makeup and size of this board is still under consideration in order to match the current needs of the Rockdale emergency 911 system."

"Based on a variety of factors, including growth of the county population, growth of the emergency communications system and its users, the makeup of this Advisory Board will be revisited as a first step. This is a starting point for the total discussion of the future of the 911 system."