Science, Health and Technology
5:49 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Boone County to upgrade 911 operation centers

Residents can soon expect some changes to how Boone County handles 9-1-1 calls.

Columbia Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications will launch an upgraded 9-1-1 system Wednesday morning. Now, emergency operation center will be able to take calls from any location and an automated operator will acknowledge 9-1-1 calls if all operators are busy. Joint Communications Interim Operation Manager Joe Piper says the upgrade also allows for potential expansion.

“With next generation 911 technology, that everyone’s talking about, we wanted to be in the position to be able to take advantage of that in the future. So this moves us from a copper wire environment to an IP based environment,” Piper said.

Piper says the IP system will eventually allow citizens to text emergency messages to the operation center from their cell phones although there is no timetable on that feature. He also says retiring the copper wire system is expected to save the county 24 hundred dollars a month. The 9-1-1 surcharge on Boone county land-lines funds emergency telecommunication operations.