- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Adams County and the City of Natchez plan to begin working together to provide 911 dispatching services to local residents.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez Board of Alderman agreed Monday to consolidate city and county 911 dispatches, according to the Natchez Democrat (https://bit.ly/205mmw4).

Currently, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Natchez Police Department run separate 911 dispatch offices. The 911 computer system determines where a call originates and sends the call to either the police or the sheriff.

However, the system has been misplacing calls and delaying response times, said Natchez Police Chief Danny White.

County Supervisor Mike Lazarus said the county is ready to absorb costs in order to sort out the problem.

“If we have to bear the brunt of the financial burden, I’m fine with that,” Lazarus said.

The proposed office is in the basement of the sheriff’s office and already has the dispatch equipment set up. This could be an ideal location, Lazarus said, because it already has generator backup in place and would be safe from tornadoes.

The boards informally agreed to pursue a unified dispatch office, staffed with separate call-takers and dispatch personnel, who would be employed by the E-911 board as opposed to either of the law enforcement agencies.

The board of supervisors moved to sign an agreement allowing the sheriff’s office to continue current operations in the short term.

The city’s signing of the agreement will be Feb. 9, said Mayor pro tem Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, since the board of aldermen lacked a quorum to take action Monday.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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