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Mysterious state action leaves hole in Ga. 911 service budget

Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order to create a statewide 911 agency after it was revealed they had no group to oversee the services


By EMS1 Staff

CONYERS, Ga. —A new statewide 911 task force is trying to track down missing money from dispatch centers across the state.

11 Alive reported that Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order for a statewide 911 agency after an investigation revealed there was no group to oversee the services.

The dispatch centers are funded through a $1.50 per month fee on landlines and cellphones and a .75 cent fee for prepaid lines. (Photo/Bixby Police Dept.)
The dispatch centers are funded through a $1.50 per month fee on landlines and cellphones and a .75 cent fee for prepaid lines. (Photo/Bixby Police Dept.)

The dispatch centers are funded through a $1.50 per month fee on landlines and cellphones and a .75 cent fee for prepaid lines, but the investigation found that the money from prepaid phones was significantly less in 2017.

The agency is now trying to figure out why.

“It is an anomaly but it’s a very large one and it is leaving a budget hole for many of the counties,” Association of County Commissioners of Georgia associate legislative director Debra Nesbit said.

Rockdale County is missing around $40,000, and emergency management director Dan Morgan said they are feeling the impact.

“Goes to directly run the services people expect when they call 911,” Morgan said. “It’s the building, it’s the people, it’s the technology behind it to make sure somebody answers the phone.”

Nesbit said the lost money equates to about $5 million across the state. She added that she doesn’t think a decrease in prepaid phone purchasing is the issue.

“I doubt that’s the case,” Nesbit said. “We know that there are not fewer people using cellphone service or prepaid plans so there has got to be an explanation.”

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